Do you Need a Complex Carbohydrate List when Dieting?

November 12, 2012

Do you Need a Complex Carbohydrate List when Dieting?

As you’re probably aware carbohydrates are a staple of most people’s diets. This is not a bad situation, but what you need to know is that all carbohydrates are not created equal. Some are better than others. Some carbohydrates promote health while others will increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It’s important that you read all labels on packaging, but you need to know how to read them. Manufacturers have a way of hiding information so you need to understand how they do it.

Food manufacturers must list all ingredients in descending order based on weight. What that means is the most abundant ingredient is listed first and as you go down the list the one on the bottom is the least amount. So, you would expect to see sugar or carbohydrates listed first, second or third if the product was loaded with sugar. Well, that’s all well and fine but that doesn’t always happen. What they manufacturers do is fudge it by adding sweeteners that technically/legally are not sugar. Sucrose (table sugar) is listed the way it should be however ingredients like agave, brown sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and molasses don’t follow the scheme. What’s happened is that these sweeteners are listed separately and not included in “sugar”. Many people who are on a diet feel that they need to keep a complex carbohydrates list with them especially when buying food or eating out. This may not always be practical or maybe you just forgot the list however, it’s not a bad idea . There is a way to remember a complex carbohydrate list simply by thinking “whole grains” and don’t eat processed foods. Eat only foods that are in their natural state. There really is no reason to eat processed foods other than you grew up on them and have learned to like them. So go back to nature and “unlike” processed foods.

All you need to do is think about fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, oatmeal, brown rice, bran and legumes. Try picturing these foods in your mind’s eye in their natural state and create a mind set. You might want to bring in wheatgerm and sweet potatoes to help create a balance of vitamins, minerals and fiber. But, you can still carry a complex carbohydrate list if you want to.

Having a complex carbohydrate list is much like having a grocery list. Without a grocery list you forget certain items and pick up items you really don’t need. Most people are not really familiar with complex carbohydrates and need to learn more about them. For example, cellulose is a complex carbohydrate. This multibranched polymer of glucose is found in celery. You know, those long stringy things that you can’t chew that stuck in your teeth. It turns out that we don’t have an enzyme to break down cellulose so it acts as a form of insoluble fiber. In one end and out the other. Each complex carbohydrate is a little different and serves different purposes in the body. Complex carbs take longer to digest and because of this don’t spike blood sugar levels and therefore much healthier for you. So, you want to eat complex carbs and stay away from sugar (simple carbs).

It all boils down to eating natural foods and staying away from processed foods. And, that means no hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries or pre-prepared foods like tv dinners. When changing to a natural diet, it is a good idea to have a complex carbohydrate list around to keep you on track.

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