Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs [Infographic]

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Recently I had the pleasure of working with 2 coaching clients who happen to share a common goal — healthy living and weight loss. And guess what: both of them have lost a combined 7 kg / 15.4 lbs in the past 2 months alone! 😀 While exercising / increased fitness was part of their personal action plan, a huge part came from eating a cleaner diet — cutting down on the unhealthy foods like chocolates and fried food, doing more home cooking, and going for the good carbs over the bad carbs.

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

Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs [Infographic]

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

In short, while many people tend to advocate for the elimination of carbs, it isn’t carbohydrates that’s the enemy here — it’s the bad carbohydrates like sugared cereals, sodas, white bread, white rice, candy/desserts, cookies, cakes, instant products, and basically most 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 feeling tired (think sugar crash). Long-term consumption of bad carbs can also increase the risk of heart diseases.

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The answer? Choose the good carbs. These include whole grains, green vegetables, fresh fruits, brown carbs, and legumes (all of which I mentioned in 45 Tips to Live a Healthier Life).

It doesn’t mean that you need to eliminate the “bad” carbs altogether, but it helps to introduce more good carbs into your life and make them a mainstay in your diet. I personally always try to opt for brown rice over white rice, brown bread over white bread, fruits over cookies/candies, and vegetables/salads/legumes over fries — to the point where it has already 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 and calories you need. Oh, and of course, remembering to exercise regularly too! 🙂

(By the way, I found 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

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Check out more infographics here | PE manifestos here

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