Choosing The Right Carbs For Weight Loss
Some Carbohydrate-Dense Foods (Especially Processed Ones) Can Cause Weight Gain.
How a certain food affects your blood sugar results from its glycemic index computed with the amount of carbohydrate it contains. This is known as the food’s glycemic load.
The science behind this is complicated. But, overall, it give you a better understanding of the types of carbohydrates people should eat. The key is moving away from high-glycemic carbs to low ones.
High-glycemic foods include:
- white bread and other processed or refined-flour products
- baked potatoes
- French fries
- white rice
- pasta made from white flour
- sugar-sweetened drinks
These low-glycemic foods are better choices:
- high-fiber fruits and vegetables (excluding white potatoes)
- whole grains, and the cereals or breads made from them
- brown rice
- whole-grain pasta
- black beans
The University of Sydney, Australia, provides a searchable database for hundreds of foods, showing glycemic index, glycemic load, and amount of carbohydrates per serving, at www.glycemicindex.com.
Not All Carbs Are The Same; Some Have More Sugar Than Others; Here Is A List From Worst To Best.
- Foods containing added sugar.Sweets such as candy, pastries, sweetened drinks (sodas and high-sugar energy and sports drinks), sweetened foods (such as yogurt with fruit on the bottom).
- Refined grains.White bread (and other low-fiber breads), white rice, pasta, crackers, bagels, baked goods.
- Whole grains/starches.Brown rice, oats, whole-grain bread, quinoa.
- Fruit.Apples, bananas, peaches, pineapples, pears, berries, etc.
- Starchy vegetables.Carrots, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, beets, etc.
- Green vegetables.Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, Brussels sprouts, etc.
Here Are Some Things To Think About:
- Switching to low-glycemic carbohydrates is just one part of a weight loss plan. You also have to focus on cutting portion sizes, increasing physical activity, and reducing daily food intake by 250 to 500 calories.
- The glycemic index of a food can vary depending upon where it was grown, how ripe it is, how it was stored or processed, starch type, fat or acid content, and even health factors of the person consuming it.
- Fiber is a carbohydrate but does not raise blood sugar levels. Eat lots of soluble fiber foods such as oatmeal, fresh fruits, and vegetables. These also lower cholesterol.
- Aim to get 20-35 grams of fiber daily. If you are diabetic, you can consume up to 50 grams a day. Unprocessed and whole-grain foods are best sources, but fiber supplements such as psyllium may be added.
- Proteins have virtually no carbohydrates. Choose lean protein such as fish, skinless poultry, nonfat or low-fat dairy products, legumes, and tofu. Avoid high saturated fat sources such as beef, pork, and high-fat dairy items.
- If you’re diabetic, or at high risk, a registered dietitian specializing in diabetes can help you plan for healthy eating.
Below is a listing so you can look at your carbs to get you started:
*You can also download the form by clicking the download tab on the top right of the document.