March 29, 2011

Trainer Tip: Good carbs/bad carbs

by Staff, Douglas County Health Department

Joseph O’Meara

Last week we talked about eating good carbs during the day to avoid the afternoon crash, but did not explain what good carbs are! Some popular fad diets call for the elimination of carbs in order to lose weight. While this may cause weight loss, it is an oversimplification of what leads to good health and weight management. Carbs are the fuel that makes our bodies run, and it is a matter of choosing the right “fuel grade” in order to get the best results from our engines. There are many benefits to eating good carbs, such as increased energy, weight loss, and essential vitamins and minerals. For the purpose of identifying good carbs and bad carbs, it is useful to think of food in terms of processed or unprocessed sources of nutrients.

Good carbs are essentially unprocessed foods. These include (no real surprises here):

  • Whole vegetables
  • Whole fruits
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole grain cereals

Bad carbs are found in highly processed foods that have had most of their nutrient value removed for the purpose of extending shelf life and creating appeal to consumers. These include:

  • Soft drinks
  • White breads
  • Snack foods
  • Candy
  • Baked goods
  • Pastas
  • Alcohol


Healthy Eating


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