What are smart carbs?

fruits and vegetables smart carbsI’ve been told for years that carbohydrates are bad. Apparently, that’s not entirely true. There are bad carbs, good carbs, simple carbs, complex carbs and even smart carbs?

Carbohydrates are, in fact, an important part of a balanced diet. You just need to be selective about the types of carbs you eat. Here are some guidelines to help you know which carbs are good for you and which ones you should avoid:

Simple or “bad” carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are easy for your body to breakdown. That should be good, right? Actually, it means these carbs deliver sugar to your bloodstream quickly. Simple carbs include white sugar and white flour-based foods. They breakdown quickly and cause your blood sugar to spike. That’s why when you eat sugary foods like cookies, cupcakes or a candy bar, you get a rush of energy but then it drops quickly and may bring down your mood right along with it.

Here are some examples of bad carbs:

  • Any foods made of refined carbohydrates like sugary cakes and cookies
  • White bread and pasta
  • White rice
  • Bottled or canned fruits and juices
  • Pop/soda and other sugary drinks

Complex or “good” carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates have complicated molecules that breakdown slowly. They deliver a steady supply of sugar to the bloodstream. As the sugar is delivered slowly to the cells, they can burn that energy more efficiently and your energy level and mood remains steady. These are also called good carbs.

Here are some examples of good or smart carbs:

  • Fruits and vegetables (especially kale or dark, leafy lettuce)
  • Beans (kidney and garbanzo)
  • Seeds (sunflower and pumpkin)
  • Nuts (almonds)
  • Whole grains (millet, quinoa and buckwheat)
  • Whole wheat bread and pasta
  • Multi-grain cereal
  • Oatmeal/oat bran
  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potatoes/yams

The best or “smart” carbohydrates

Smart carbohydrates refers to how your body processes the carb and uses it for energy. Glucose is the body’s main source for energy. When you get an extreme glucose surge from a sugary snack, it will lead to a stored fat deposit.

On the other hand, smart carbohydrates let you eat carbs without triggering the fat storing reaction. Smart carbs burn the energy at slower rate, so you give your body a steady source of fuel. You also don’t experience those highs and lows that you get with simple or “bad” carbs.

With smart carbs, you will get more satisfaction when you eat, your blood sugar will stay more level, and your body won’t be storing carbs as fat for later use.

When you eat smart carbs, your body is better at digesting them and using them as energy. You will naturally feel better and be more energized. So, add more smart carbs to your diet to help balance out your energy levels and feel healthier!

3 thoughts on “What are smart carbs?

  1. Pingback: The Truth About Good and Bad Fats | Live the Balanced Life

  2. Pingback: 10 Healthy Eating Myths and Facts | Live the Balanced Life

  3. Pingback: 9 Myths and Facts About Weight Loss | Live the Balanced Life

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