Good Carbs and Bad Carbs
It is important to understand there are some very healthy forms of carbohydrates that you can eat without excessively stimulating your hunger (in future posts look at the lists of low carbohydrate fruits in vegetables that can be incorporated as part of your diet).
A mistake that patients of mine will commonly make is to slip into what is called ‘black and white thinking’ and act as if all carbohydrates are unhealthy. This is absolutely not true. I believe you should do your best to minimize the processed carbohydrates in your diet such as flour, white rice, potatoes and some processed dairy products such as ice cream and many popular forms of yogurt that are high in sugar.
You should also work towards increasing the more natural forms of carbohydrates that still contain fiber such as eating an apple instead of drinking apple juice. Did you know that the common plastic orange juice bottles sold today contain the juice of 60-80 oranges! We all know fruit is healthy for you but for the serving of one glass of orange juice that equates to 8 oranges! And would you eat 8 oranges in only one sitting, especially when all the protective fiber has been removed? I don’t think so.
If you are wondering if a certain carbohydrate is processed or not, a good rule of thumb is the more convenient the food is to prepare (frozen dinners or instant meals), the sweeter it is (flavored coffee drinks or yogurts) or the more removed it is from its natural state (corn tortilla chips, white wheat bread or apple juice), the more you should assume it contains processed carbohydrates and little fiber. The more processed the carbohydrates, the more strongly it will increase your hunger.
There are many sources of carbohydrates that are acceptable and when consumed also provide us with many important vitamins and minerals. So don’t fall into the trap of thinking that all carbohydrates are bad. We need some carbohydrates in our diet because in their natural form of fruits and vegetables, they are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. We just need to be careful we don’t have too many carbohydrates in our diet because too much of a good thing is still too much.