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Good Carbs VS Bad Carbs

If there’s one nutritional topic that gets debated more than any other, carbohydrates would be it. Are all bad? Are some good? How many should you eat? When should you be eating them?

All are common questions you might find yourself asking.

The truth is that there are good carbs out there, you just need to know how to separate them from the bad. While all carbohydrates must be consumed in moderation in order to maintain your body weight and reach your goals, there’s no reason to cut them out entirely.

Let’s walk through bad carbs as well as the good carbs so you can see the difference.

Stay tuned after the video to see…

  • What are carbs
  • How can you tell the difference between bad and good carbs
  • Why you should pair your carb consumption with a great workout

What Are Carbs?

Before we get into the difference between good and bad carbs, it is important to understand what carbs really are.

Our diet is made up of three macronutrients: Carbs, fats, and protein. Carbohydrates are a macronutrient made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms.

The three main categories of carbs are sugars, fiber, and starches and the main purpose of these carbs is to provide the body with energy. To do this, most carbs are broken down into glucose or stored as fat to be used for later, with the exception of fiber, which is used to feed the good bacteria in our guts, which can then be used to for energy by cells.

⚡ Related: Learn why gut health is so important and how it can affect your foals

What Are Bad Carbs?

When it comes to bad carbs, the biggest question to ask yourself will be ‘is this carbohydrate processed?’ If it’s been altered from its natural state in any way, chances are, it’s a bad carb.

Classic examples of bad carbs include the breakfast cereal you wake up to each morning, the sweetened packet of instant oatmeal you may serve up as a snack, the white or whole wheat bread you use to prepare your mid-day meal, or the tortilla that you eat with your wrap.

Grains are another ‘no-no’ carb source, but most people let these slip by. They think as long as it’s a whole grain, it’s no problem.

Big mistake.

The problem with grains is that we as humans don’t possess the mechanisms to completely break these down in the body and therefore, they can cause problems.

What happens when you digest a gluten or wheat peptide is they force open the tight junctions in the stomach, which then leaves your immune system open to intruders. In the end, this can lead to inflammation development, eventually going on to cause major diseases including all the autoimmune diseases that are becoming so common in today’s society [1].

Stop eating grains and you can avoid many of today’s common immune disorders.

You’ll want to experiment to see how your body reacts. Myself, personally, I cannot even eat grains in any capacity. Even though this can be a good carb for many, as you’ll see below, when I added them back to my breakfast, I spent the next week feeling run down and like I was getting a cold.

Upon removing them, my symptoms cleared. It became obvious my body could not tolerate them. Trail and error are the best way to see how your body responds. Remove it from your diet for a minimum of 21 days, ideally one month to see if there’s a difference in how you feel.

What Are Good Carbs?

Which now brings us to the good carbs. Eat the right carbs and you’ll be well-fueled for your workouts, energized throughout the day, and maintain a revved up metabolism.

Some of the best carbohydrates you can eat include steel cut oats, Ezekiel bread, sweet potatoes, quinoa (which is a seed, not a grain), gluten-free rice cakes for snacks, white potatoes if you aren’t a fan of sweet potatoes, and white rice [2,3]. Many people will question eating white rice, but what you need to know is that brown rice will go rancid faster in the body, potentially causing greater problems. White rice, therefore, is the superior choice [4].

Vegetables aren’t considered to be ‘active carbs’ due to their very low caloric intake, you can eat them in abundance without worry and they will always offer great benefits to your health.

One of the absolute best carbs that you could be eating is the sweet potato and can help you lose more fat!

Now you are better equipped to make good carb choices. If you want more information on grains, I’d highly recommend picking up either Wheat Belly or Brain Grain, both books which shed light on this topic.

What carbs do you find you feel best on?

Can I Have A Workout To Go With Those Carbs?

I’m a firm believer in earning your carbs.

There’s nothing wrong with a high-carb diet … IF you train hard.

If you’re not hitting the gym, or even if you are, but you’re just on one of those run-of-the-mill generic routines that focus on cardio and machine training, you can’t get away with eating too many carbs. (Good OR bad.)

So the secret to eating more carbs while STILL burning body fat faster than ever?

Get on the right program.

That doesn’t mean you hop on the elliptical for a half hour a day, or attend your pump class twice a week.

You need something properly structured to your goals that focus on the perfect blend of metabolism-boosting, lean muscle-building weight training, and calorie-burning cardio.

When it comes to working out, it is about quality, more than quantity. With the right training program, you can easily eat carbs and reach your goals, no matter what those goals are.

⚡ Related: Learn how timing your carbs can help you reach your goals!

Meet Michael Morelli, founder of Morellifit! Michael has always been involved in fitness (and believe it or not was once even a very competent magician), but the journey to where he is now is an uncommon one. Always a big believer in hard work, Michael set up a successful retail business after dropping out... read more

Comments

  1. Hiya
    What about oatcakes? I usually have them as a snack. Are they processed too much to be considered a good carb source?

  2. Lana Luhmann says:

    I love sweet potatoes too ! my problem is I do Hiit max alot involved in Brc. challenges and try stay under 50 to 60 carbs a day but get hungry for fruit and Sugar I know is bad I love bread but try stay away from that ! I just like to find out how many good for my very active lifestyle

  3. Marlene says:

    WOW! Thank you that was so helpful and informative. I agree with everything you say but I also learnt so much from you. More videos please.

  4. Hi Michael!
    Is rolled oats is ok too? ! …. Whats the difference anyway?

  5. Hi Michael!

    Thank you for the useful info. I am training for a completion and these carbs confuses me but this is very helpful!
    Is rolled oats is ok too? ! …. Whats the difference anyway?
    Btw your hiitmax is ace!’

  6. Aidan Lewis says:

    I train 5 days a week but with work i dont train till 6 at night, i have 3 tubs of chicken and rice at 9am 12pm and 3pm, take my pre work out and have a protein shake then go to the gym, i am ganing muscle but still have fat to loose, where could i fit sweet potato into my diet can i eat it after a workout?

    • Replace rice with sweet potatoes and include veggies with every meal, you’ll lean out. Plus you’ll improve your health. Chicken and rice are not Micro-Nutrient dense, they are macro-nutrient dense. Also, make sure your getting a balance of healthy fats

  7. Hello Michael,
    what about the whole wheat pasta! actually I get confused choosing pasta !

    • Go gluten free, rice pasta isn’t bad. Whole wheat is not healthier then wheat, it just includes the bran and germ which is also high in phytic acid (Antinutrient).

  8. What about bananas

    • Bananas have their place. They are considered a sugar source since ripe bananas are primarily sugar. Green bananas contain more complex carbs which is why they are not as sweet. Either way, use them in the morning, pre or post workout for simple carbs.

  9. Michael Vazquez says:

    My wife and I began to buy these sweet potato packets that make mashed sweet potatoes. Do you think this is still a good choice, or is the only good sweet potato choice is buying it straight every time?

    • That depends, how processed are they? Are they 100% sweet potato flakes? Or are they processed with multiple ingredients and starches? Food in its pure form is always best. If the packets you’re buying are 100% pure sweet potato thats been dried for packaging than they may be ok, but again, real unprocessed food will always rival processed food

  10. The pastas that are made from quinoa or Black Beans, or chickpea, where do these fall in the good vs. Bad carb fall?

    • They would fall under good choices/Alternatives to wheat or gluten containing grains. Personally, I use rice pasta but I have used the ones you’ve mentioned as well. Some people will get bloating and gas from beans and chickpeas, most people handle quinoa well, and white rice is one of the most well tolerated starches out there.

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