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Carbs are NOT evil – here’s a chart to help you.

August 16th, 2012 1 Comment

I think we’re all over the no carb diets, so now the question is, what kinds of carbs should be be eating?

Hilary broke this all down for me the other day so I’m going to simplify her lessons for you here.

According to Hilary, there are two types of carbs:  simple and complex.  Simple is straight up sugar.  Complex carbohydrates are also sugars but they include fiber, texture, and taste.  When we eat clean, complex carbs, they don’t allow the blood sugar to spike and crash because the complexity allows for a slower release into the blood stream.  A good rule of thumb:  the sweeter something is, the more simple it is and therefore higher in sugar and calories.

Click the image to enlarge the chart.  It’s Hilary’s easy way to explain the Glycemic Index.

You want to eat everything to the left of the arrows.

Fiber, which helps absorption of nutrients and digestion, is a hot topic right now.  Hilary says you can identify good fiber by texture.  It will be “stalky” (hard) and “barky” (crunchy and dense).

I asked her specifically about taking wheat grass shots.  She loves the idea and nutrients, but points out if you eat it with something fibrous, like nuts, your digestion slows down and your body has more time to absorb the nutrients.  If you drink it on its own (like I used to), it runs right through your system and you don’t get the benefits.

You won’t be surprised to hear I also asked about wine specifically.  Hilary says to eat as much veggies with wine to help slow down the absorption of sugar and alcohol.  Most people would think to eat something more starchy (like potatoes or carrots), but that just adds sugar and calories, which you are trying to minimize.  So get the fiber from veggies instead!

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