There has been so much confusion about the topic of good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates in recent years... I wanted to help clear up some of that confusion for you and set you on a clearer path to lifelong fat loss success and healthier eating.
First of all, although I am not a "low carb" believer (I certainly don't think extremely low carbohydrate diets are healthy), I do believe that one of the main reasons that the vast majority of people struggle to ever lose weight is that they are over-consuming processed refined carbohydrates such as pasta, bagels, breads, cereals, rice, muffins, sodas, juices, candies, crackers, etc.
It is exceedingly hard to lose weight if you are over-consuming any of these types of refined processed carbohydrates (even if you work out extremely hard). In addition to causing big blood sugar swings and insulin surges that stimulate direct body fat storage, eating too many carbohydrates also increases your cravings and overall appetite.
Even carbohydrate sources that most people think are "healthy" really are just excess calories that do not really contain significant nutrient density... and many types of breads and cereals claim to be "whole grain" through clever marketing although in reality, the first ingredient in them is refined flour, which is just going to spike your blood sugar and create an insulin surge. After years of eating excess processed carbohydrates, it becomes harder and harder for insulin to do it's job and continue handling all of this blood sugar, and insulin resistance and eventual type 2 diabetes can occur in many people.
My opinion on this is that the majority of people struggling to lose weight would get much better results by following these types of guidelines:
1. Reduce overall grain-based foods in your diet (pasta, cereal, crackers, rice, etc) and focus more of your diet on healthy free range, grass-fed meats and eggs, raw grass-fed dairy, and a whole lot of vegetables.
2. Instead of grains for most of your carbohydrate intake, try getting most of your carbs from veggies, sweet potatoes, and a variety of berries and whole fruits (NOT fruit juices, which remove the beneficial fiber as well as other important nutrients in the fruit)
3. If you are going to get any grains at all, focus on the most nutrient dense and fibrous portions of the grain... the bran and the germ. This means that the healthiest ideas are using oat bran instead of oat meal, and using wheat germ and rice bran by adding them to your salads, yogurt, cottage cheese, soups, smoothies, etc. This way you get all of the most nutrient dense parts of the grains without all of the excess starches and calories.
4. To replace the void if you are accustomed to consuming large quantities of cereals, bread, pasta, and other carbohydrate sources... try filling that void with additional healthy fats such as avocados, guacamole, nuts, seeds, nut butters as well as healthy proteins such as grass-fed raw dairy and grass fed meats, whole free-range organic eggs, etc. Healthy fats and protein sources go a long way to satisfying your appetite, controlling proper blood sugar and hormone levels, and helping you to make real progress on weight loss for life.
With all of that said, here's one of my favorite carbohydrate sources that is high in fiber as well as contains a high density of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals... it is yams and/or sweet potatoes. Try slicing them into thin slivers and sauteeing them with a few tablespoons of water in a pan for about 5 minutes for a quicker healthy carb (instead of baking them for over an hour). Finish them off with a touch of grass-fed organic butter and some cinnamon and you've got a delicous and healthy carbohydrate side dish!
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Mike Geary is the best-selling author of The Truth about Six Pack Abs, with over 100,000 readers in over 150 countries. Mike is also an avid skier and creator of one of the most comprehensive Skier Fitness Training Routines
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