Carbs Are Bad

Carbs are an essential part of your diet

With recent diet crazes like the Atkins Diet and South Beach diet, many people who are trying to lose weight are shying away from carbohydrates. Diet book authors have been drilling the idea into our heads that carbohydrates, in any form, are bad for us and they attempt to preach that eliminating carbs from our diet will help us lose weight quickly.

It's true that a low-carb diet may help you lose weight in the short term, but low-carb diets are difficult to follow and the weight loss is rarely sustainable, especially if you are allowed to freely consume red meats and bacon. It is also true that some carbohydrates are not good and should be eliminated from your diet. However, cutting out all carbohydrates removes essential nutrients that your body needs, including fiber.

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Here are some of the carbohydrates that you should embrace and some that should be avoided.

Acceptable Carbs:

  • Sweet Potatoes - they are high in starch and have a good GI value, meaning they can be broken down easily in the gastrointestinal tract. They contain several vitamins: primarily vitamin A, potassium and vitamin C.
  • Beans - they're an excellent addition to any diet even though they are loaded with carbohydrates -- as many as 40 grams in one cup. But beans are also high in fiber, which makes them easy to digest. Beans are also low in fat and are a good source of protein. Try kidney beans, pinto beans or black beans.
  • Oatmeal - this carb is high in fiber and contains minerals like iron. It's a great breakfast choice because it fills you up and provides you with energy for your day. Skip the quick oats and top regular oatmeal with fresh or dried fruit and cinnamon.
  • Wholegrain bread - rye bread or 100 percent whole-wheat bread is a great source of fiber without the added sugar of other breads.
  • Brown rice and pasta - are great for pumping up your meals. They are high in carbohydrates, but are also high in fiber and low in fat.

Limit These Carbs:

  • White bread and white rice - these are processed grains, which means the nutrients have been stripped away and then replaced. These also contain a lot of added sugar. These refined carbohydrates are more difficult for the body to process and can lead to weight gain. They also release starch and sugar into the blood stream, which can raise blood sugar levels.
  • Processed foods - chips, cookies, crackers and candy, are very high in "bad" carbohydrates and should be avoided as much as possible. These products are loaded with preservatives like sodium, as well as fat and sugar.
  • Alcohol - Although all alcohol contains carbohydrates, beer is packed with carbohydrates and calories that can cause weight gain. It is best to limit your consumption of alcohol in your diet.