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TOPIC: Good carbs vs. Bad carbs

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May 19, 2013 1:48 AM
Does anyone know where I can find good clear information about carbs? This is confusing to me and since I'm just starting out can use all the help I can get without going to see a nutritionist. Thanks.
  38402175
May 19, 2013 2:10 AM
Good Carb Examples: Lentils, kidney beans, peas, 100% whole wheat bread that has a dense texture (not fluffy), watermelon, apples, peaches, pears, oranges, berries, figs, dates, skim milk, plain yogurt

Bad Carb Examples: White bread, white rice, regular pasta, candy, white potatoes, regular soft drinks

A good book on prediabetes or diabetes will have an in-depth discussion of good carbs and bad ones. The good ones don't make your blood sugar spike. Instead, they release sugar slowly into your bloodstream. I went to a large bookstore, found the nutrition section, grabbed several books, and read up on this topic.

Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, and the National Institutes of Health web sites have search engines that I have found useful for such research. Avoid the fringe web sites--they spread myths and outdated information.
Edited by janimei On May 19, 2013 2:15 AM
  38802457
May 19, 2013 2:13 AM
Good carbs are carbs what are not refined and/or digest more slowly. Such a whole wheat grains, flour from whole wheat, sweet potatoes, brown rice, corn, oats, beans, peas, etc. All those have higher fiber so they digest slower therefore are good carbs.

Bad carbs are carbs that digest very fast. Such as white/refined flour, white potatoes, sugar (including sugar in most of fruits), etc...

Bad carbs are supposed to be "bad" for you cos they digest fast, too fast for your body use them as energy so it stores them as fat and therefore i what would make you fat. They also spikes your insulin levels higher faster.

That's the science behind it. But lemme tell you... that is nonsense. That is old science and only people who advertise it is those who have failed to keep themselves up to date with newest research. It's all about calories in vs calories out. Eating bad carbs will not make you fat and eating good carbs will not make you lose more weight. It's just that they might full you up for longer so you do not overate, but if you count cals it's just a waste of time. Only time when you should watch what carbs you ate is if you are worrying about your blood sugar levels, what is not necessary for general healthy person, unless you are a pro athlete or somebody with blood sugar problems/some type of diabetes.

Don't worry about bad and good carbs... you count calories if all you want is to lose weight and be healthy. If you have problems with keeping your blood sugar steady all though the day or have too high blood sugar level then go on and watch your carbs, that will help a little.
Edited by Ainar On May 19, 2013 2:17 AM
May 19, 2013 2:23 AM
Thanks. This is a great start.
  38402175
May 19, 2013 2:33 AM
Good carbs: the ones you eat until you hit your calorie goal, as long as y got enough protein and fat

Bad carbs: any carbs you eat above your calorie goal
May 19, 2013 2:50 AM
Lol,bad carbs are stored as fat ? Really
May 19, 2013 2:55 AM
QUOTE:

That's the science behind it. But lemme tell you... that is nonsense. That is old science and only people who advertise it is those who have failed to keep themselves up to date with newest research. It's all about calories in vs calories out. Eating bad carbs will not make you fat and eating good carbs will not make you lose more weight. It's just that they might full you up for longer so you do not overate, but if you count cals it's just a waste of time. Only time when you should watch what carbs you ate is if you are worrying about your blood sugar levels, what is not necessary for general healthy person, unless you are a pro athlete or somebody with blood sugar problems/some type of diabetes.

Don't worry about bad and good carbs... you count calories if all you want is to lose weight and be healthy. If you have problems with keeping your blood sugar steady all though the day or have too high blood sugar level then go on and watch your carbs, that will help a little.


And this here is why the Internet is so damaging. Yes, you are right about bad carbs being digested faster but the KEY point you are missing out is that bad carbs will make you more hungry and make it harder to lose weight.

White bread is a key example of this. I'm actually more hungry after eating some slices of white bread than brown. It doesn't fill you up properly because it's broken down too quickly. Same with pasta, wholemeal is far better because it's a complex carb and takes your body longer to break down and will keep you full up for longer.

So while you're right that if you're counting calories it doesn't matter, eating bad carbs will make it much harder to stay within those alloted calories.
  41865998
May 19, 2013 2:56 AM
the term good carb vs bad carb is not really accurate. simple vs complex makes more sense
May 19, 2013 2:57 AM
QUOTE:

the term good carb vs bad carb is not really accurate. simple vs complex makes more sense


Yes indeed.
  41865998
May 19, 2013 3:11 AM
simple carbs wont keep you full long and complex carbs will keep you full for longer, thats why complex carbs are better when restricting calories
May 19, 2013 3:20 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

the term good carb vs bad carb is not really accurate. simple vs complex makes more sense


Yes indeed.


Exactly this.

It's funny how things people list as "bad" carbs are staples in my diet, yet I am in the best shape of my life at 136 pounds, 22% body fat, and continually losing more fat.

When I was a "clean" eater and ate only "good" carbs (among other things) I felt deprived. I learned about calorie deficits and started easing up a bit, and only good things started happening.
May 19, 2013 3:45 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

That's the science behind it. But lemme tell you... that is nonsense. That is old science and only people who advertise it is those who have failed to keep themselves up to date with newest research. It's all about calories in vs calories out. Eating bad carbs will not make you fat and eating good carbs will not make you lose more weight. It's just that they might full you up for longer so you do not overate, but if you count cals it's just a waste of time. Only time when you should watch what carbs you ate is if you are worrying about your blood sugar levels, what is not necessary for general healthy person, unless you are a pro athlete or somebody with blood sugar problems/some type of diabetes.

Don't worry about bad and good carbs... you count calories if all you want is to lose weight and be healthy. If you have problems with keeping your blood sugar steady all though the day or have too high blood sugar level then go on and watch your carbs, that will help a little.


And this here is why the Internet is so damaging. Yes, you are right about bad carbs being digested faster but the KEY point you are missing out is that bad carbs will make you more hungry and make it harder to lose weight.

White bread is a key example of this. I'm actually more hungry after eating some slices of white bread than brown. It doesn't fill you up properly because it's broken down too quickly. Same with pasta, wholemeal is far better because it's a complex carb and takes your body longer to break down and will keep you full up for longer.

So while you're right that if you're counting calories it doesn't matter, eating bad carbs will make it much harder to stay within those alloted calories.

Yes, I also mentioned that in my post - "they might full you up for longer so you do not overate," what has the same point...

Personally, it's not how it works for me, white rice fulls me up just as much as brown rice, white potatoes just as much as sweet ones, white bread just as much as brown, etc... of course unless I ate sugar vs brown rice what is pretty extreme comparison, haha. But it is different for many people and some might actually notice a difference I guess, like you do...
May 19, 2013 3:52 AM
I think Japan, China and India must have missed the memo about white rice being unhealthy LOL.
  19327692
May 19, 2013 4:00 AM
QUOTE:

simple carbs wont keep you full long and complex carbs will keep you full for longer, thats why complex carbs are better when restricting calories


Hogwash. I get more mileage out of a banana (simple carbs) than a slice of bread (complex carbs).


Satiation is a complex subject. It includes psychology as well as nutrition. But I think we can almost all agree that adding more confusion by incorrectly defining complex and simple carbs. The term simply refers to starches vs. sugars, whereas how quickly it is absorbed has to do with additional factors like how much fiber is protecting the molecule (which is distinct from how much fiber is present).

White rice is a complex carb
Brown rice, or even whole grain rice, is the exact same complex carb.

A banana contains simple carbs.
A chocolate bar is also simple carbs.


So the simple vs complex term is most definitely NOT interchangeable with the concept of good vs. bad carbs as understood by those advocating less processed versions of carb sources. Making this avoidable mistake leads to horrible advice like cutting out all fruit because fruit contains simple carbs. The point if having definitions for things is to avoid this kind of confusion.
Edited by pcastagner On May 19, 2013 4:07 AM
May 19, 2013 4:01 AM
What makes one carb good and another bad? A thousand different answers. My answer: A bad carb is only bad when you eat it at the wrong time. For example, if you are sitting on the couch or getting ready for bed- a high glycemic carb is bad at this time. However, right before or during cardio-high glycemic carbs are your good friend.
Edited by patentguru On May 19, 2013 4:02 AM
May 19, 2013 4:11 AM
My 2 cents:

Do you have a medical condition, like PCOS or diabetes, where you have to watch what you eat in the way of carbs? No? Then don't worry about the "good" and "bad" carb BS.
  18511156
May 19, 2013 4:18 AM
when i eat white rice i find that i can hungery faster than when i eat brown rice, but i do agree with fibre as being a factor
May 19, 2013 4:20 AM
With the "white" carbs, it's all about the portion size. I still eat white rice, regular pasta, and white bread (good quality baguettes and boules), but I eat way less than I used to. I also eat whole grain breads and brown rice (not a fan of whole wheat pasta), depending on the other things I'm eating it with. When I joined MFP, I was astonished at how fast that stuff (whether it's whole grain or not) eats up your calorie allowance. Now I'm finding that a serving of pasta (2 ounces) is plenty.

Bottom line, I agree with the others that the white carbs are not "bad" unless you need to monitor blood sugar. Also, as for how filling they are: they definitely aren't as filling (for me) given the number of calories they contain. I generally save pasta, breads, and rice for dinner so I don't have to deal with the hunger pangs they may cause.
Edited by jsd_135 On May 19, 2013 4:22 AM
  34844729
May 19, 2013 4:24 AM
It all depends what you read, I'd call bad carbs grains and legumes and good carbs veg and fruit. Marksdailyapple has some info if you want to read about it. Others will no doubt disagree but it's working well for me
  1410302
May 19, 2013 6:38 AM
No such thing as good or bad carbs, it's more about context and dosage.
May 19, 2013 6:39 AM
Read Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD. I didn't go Wheat Free as he suggests, but this book was key for me in understanding how the body reacts to carbs - it really helped me set some initial goals when I started my journey to a healthier lifestyle.
May 19, 2013 6:55 AM
QUOTE:

What makes one carb good and another bad? A thousand different answers. My answer: A bad carb is only bad when you eat it at the wrong time. For example, if you are sitting on the couch or getting ready for bed- a high glycemic carb is bad at this time. However, right before or during cardio-high glycemic carbs are your good friend.


Are you saying we shouldn't eat ice cream and chocolate every night before bed sad LOL
  39246886
May 21, 2013 7:55 AM
I want to thank everyone for their input on this subject. I don't have any medical reasons for this (yet) trying to be preventive in this area as my grandfather was a dietetic.
  38402175
May 22, 2013 2:49 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

What makes one carb good and another bad? A thousand different answers. My answer: A bad carb is only bad when you eat it at the wrong time. For example, if you are sitting on the couch or getting ready for bed- a high glycemic carb is bad at this time. However, right before or during cardio-high glycemic carbs are your good friend.


Are you saying we shouldn't eat ice cream and chocolate every night before bed sad LOL


No. Ice cream and chocolate contain a lot of fat, which results in a lower gycemic index. I was talking about not spiking your insulin, which results in converting the excess sugar in the blood stream to fat. Instead of the personal attack, why not just factually state your opinion? Personal attacks have no benefit in an open forum except making others hate you.
May 22, 2013 3:18 AM
QUOTE:

when i eat white rice i find that i can hungery faster than when i eat brown rice, but i do agree with fibre as being a factor


Add vegetables to your rice.

More fibre and bulk = more satiation. A great few chunks of brocolli diced in your rice makes it incredibly filling.

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