Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs [Infographic]

Recently I had the pleasure of working with two coaching clients on the goal of weight loss. After two months, both of them have lost a combined 7 kg (15.4 lbs)! 😀

While exercising was part of their personal action plan, a huge part came from eating a cleaner diet — cutting down on unhealthy food like chocolates and fried food, doing more home cooking, and going for good carbs over bad carbs.

Today’s infographic gives you a lowdown on good carbs vs. bad carbs and the carbs you should eat more of:

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Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs [Infographic]

Click image for larger version (Infographic from Online Nutrition Degrees)

In short, while many people tend to advocate the elimination of carbs, carbohydrates are not the enemy here — it’s the bad carbohydrates like sugary cereals, sodas, candy/desserts, cookies, cakes, instant products, and basically most of the processed food you find in a provision shop and along inner supermarket aisles. These bad carbs are digested very quickly by your body, are quickly converted to fat, and also create high blood glucose spikes — which subsequently leaves you tired (think sugar crash). Long-term consumption of bad carbs can also increase the risk of heart diseases.

The answer? Choose the good carbs, the complex carbs. These include green vegetables, fresh fruits, sweet potatoes and yams, carrots and other root vegetables, mushrooms, and whole grains (read more healthy living tips in 45 Tips to Live a Healthier Life).

Overall, it doesn’t mean that you need to eliminate the “bad” carbs altogether — it’s okay to eat a candy bar once in a long while — but I recommend introducing more complex carbs and make them a mainstay in your diet. I personally always try to opt for wholegrain over refined grain, fruits over cookies/candies, and vegetables/salads over fries — to the point where it has become a natural habit. There are times when this isn’t possible (for example, some restaurants simply don’t serve brown rice, or some days I just want to eat ice cream), but the most important thing is to have an overall healthy diet that gives you the nutrients you need. Oh and of course, remember to exercise regularly too! 🙂

(By the way, I find it strange that Snickers’ Bars and M&Ms are rated as the “better” snacks in the infographic — I guess it’s on a relativity scale and they’d be better than popcorn or pretzels. I’d personally go for a banana or an apple as a snack. These fruits have fiber, help with digestion, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals!)

Here’s a helpful list of glycemic index for 100+ foods from Harvard Health Publications. Remember, the lower the index, the longer it takes to digest, the more it helps to stimulate your metabolism: Glycemic index and glycemic load for 100+ foods

Read more healthy living tips in 45 Tips to Live a Healthier Life.

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Check out more infographics here | PE manifestos here

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