Good Carb, Bad Carbs – Key to Burn Belly Fat?

by Mari Ann on December 25, 2009

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active people choose good carbs

Good Carbs = Active Lifestyle!

Has all the hype surrounding low-carb diets left you confused? It’s no wonder! The truth is, if you trying to burn belly fat, not all carbohydrates are created equal. The key to choosing the “good” carbs is knowing about the glycemic index.

In a nutshell, the glycemic index shows how quickly a carbohydrate breaks down and enters your bloodstream as sugar. Our goal is to keep a constant blood sugar level all day. So, we want carbs that break down slowly (ie: have a low glycemic index). This will help keep hunger pains at bay, keep our moods more even throughout the day, and keep fat from developing in your belly!

Experts say a diet rich in low-glycemic choices not only helps you lose weight and lower your overall body fat, it can also cut your risk of serious illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes! One reason for this is that with a low glycemic diet your body will naturally burn belly fat. So don’t be afraid of carbohydrates—just be carb smart! And whenever possible, always eat protein and fiber with your carbs. The protein and fiber helps slow the sugar absorption.

Since carbs with a low glycemic index break down more slowly, they do not supply a “sugar rush”. They also don’t convert as easily to fat.

Examples of good carbs:

o Berries, cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines (preferably fresh or frozen. If buying canned, make sure they are packed in natural juice, and don’t drink the juice).

o Whole oranges, grapefruit, apples

o Green vegetables (lettuces, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, greens)

o Legumes (black beans, pinto beans, lima beans, etc)

o Garlic, onions, endive, chives

o Sweet potatoes (boiled or baked without sugar)

o Almonds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts (HIGH CALORIES. Be sure to measure!!)

o Whole grains. (Make sure you measure closely. ONE SERVING ONLY!)

o When buying bread, if the label does not say “100% whole grain”, it probably isn’t. Read list of ingredients very closely!

o Old fashioned, whole oats are an excellent source of good carbs! Very easy to pop in the microwave and cook while you finish getting dressed in the morning.

o If buying rice, look for brown rice. And, even at that, all brown rices are not the same. Brown Basmati has a much lower glycemic index of other forms of brown rice..

Carbohydrates with a high glycemic index break down into sugar quickly and are easily converted to stored fat. These are what we call “Bad Carbs” .

Examples of “Bad Carbs”

o White potatoes (without skins)

o White sugar

o Rice cakes

o Processed cereals

o Anything made from white flout

What exactly are “Net Carbs”?

Lately, labels have been indicating “net carbs” as well as “total carbs”. Net Carbs are determined by taking the total carb count, then subtracting carbs from fiber and carbs from sugar alcohols.

While it is perfectly acceptable to subtract “fiber carbs” since fiber is not absorbed by your body, there is debate on the subject of sugar alcohols. Sugar alcohols are said to be absorbed much more slowly than other forms of sugar. Since this is still debatable, my advice is to only consume items with sugar alcohols in limited quantities

What to look for when reading labels:

o Look for foods with a high ratio of fiber to total carbs. You should try to eat at least 25 grams of fiber everyday.

o Look for foods with a low ratio of sugar to total carbs

o When choosing from pre-packaged foods and bars, choose one with a good ratio of protein to carbohydrates (the closer the number of protein grams to carb grams, the better)

Tip 1: If You Want to Burn Belly Fat, Treat bad carbs as you would a condiment. Eat them sparingly!

Tip 2: Soak brown rice for more nutrition. Japanese scientists found that when brown rice was soaked for 24 hours in warm water so that it germinated slightly, levels of certain nutrients and phytochemicals, as well as fiber, increased substantially. Soaking the rice softens the outer bran, making the rice easier to cook and sweeter tasting. This does not apply to white rice, which falls into the junk food category! Source: UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, July 2001.

Tip 3:
Lycopene, and antioxidant that appears to decrease the risk of certain cancers, is found primarily in tomatoes. A review of 72 different studies consistently found an inverse relationship between tomato consumption and cancer occurrence. (i.e. the more tomatoes and tomato products a person ate, the lower the incidence of cancer.

Cooked tomatoes are better than fresh ones, however, because cooking increases the amount of lycopene that the body is able to absorb. Italian cooked tomatoes (as in tomato sauce) appears the best way to get this antioxidant. Source: Running & FitNews, June 2001

These “good carbs” are rich in nutrients and fiber, promoting general all-around good health. And, since their effect on blood insulin levels will help you burn belly fat, they should be included in any long-term weight loss program.



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