The Untold Truth About Carbohydrates

Published: 07th January 2007
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The Untold Truth About Carbohydrates

Do you want the truth? Just how bad are carbohydrates?

After all every food advertisement you see today makes it
sound like you should hunt down and destroy the pesky
things. I mean every food is now given a net carb count.

Even beer commercials are going low carb. Geez, beer never
had more than four or five grams to begin with and the
calories in beer haven't changed. Nah, it's just that now
you read the label more closely and realize there are
actually carbs in beer. Before Atkins and South Beach all we
cared about was how much alcohol was in beer!

So, are carbohydrates really the bad guys they're being made
out to be?

I mean people are losing weight like crazy on the South
Beach diet so there must be some truth to the fact that
carbs are bad?

Well - drum roll please - there is a whole lot of truth to
all this fuss about carbs. In fact, most of the
carbohydrates in the typical American diet should be

But lets not throw the baby out with the bath water. Some
are bad and others aren't so bad but the life and death
truth is thisa

aYou must have carbohydrates to sustain a healthy body and a
sharp mind.

There is simply no way around this physiological fact. You
see carbs are the fuel that keeps your motor running. They
are like gasoline to an engine.

The real key is to understand which ones are best for the

Let me introduce you to Complimentary Carbs. What are
Complimentary Carbs?

Complimentary carbs will do two very important things for

They will assist you in weight loss and, They will support
an active, fitness oriented lifestyle.

Look at it this way: You and a friend are traveling to the
same destination and you are traveling in identical cars.
You both have only five gallons of gas. However, your friend
is taking the highway and you are taking the city streets to
the destination.

Your trip is stop and go, heavy acceleration then slow down
for a red light. Get up to 55 mph then down again to a
crawl. Stop-go, stop-go. Accelerate fast-slow down.

Your friend gets on the highway, sets the car on cruise
control and leisurely steers the car until time to exit and
pull into the parking lot. Your friends' car has two gallons
of gas left over when she arrives.

You are on empty and barely get to your destination. What
was the difference?

The difference is this:

You gave your car more fuel than it could use with all the
heavy acceleration, slow down, speed up, stop-go driving.
That unused fuel went through your catalytic converter and
into the street and atmosphere.

Your body is similar. Give it more fuel all at one time than
it can use and your catalytic converter (insulin) will send
it away as fat.

Carbohydrates that give you a big rush of sugar (white
bread, rice cakes, watermelon) are for your body like the
city streets are for your car.

Complimentary carbs are more like the cruise control v easy,
smooth, and gradual. Giving you all the fuel you need
without wasting a bit (storing it as fat).

You see, because complimentary carbs release their energy
slower, (this means they have a lower glycemic index) your
body can maintain a more stable blood sugar level. This is
good because you will have sustained energy over a longer
period and your body will have access to smaller, even
"doses" of energy.

These smaller doses give you the time to actually utilize
the sugar (glucose = fuel) thereby preventing an "overdose"
and the need to store any excess as fat.

Diabetics typically eat these foods to help them regulate
spikes in their blood sugar and to help them to be less
dependent on insulin. In other words, diabetics can often
manage their disease simply by regulating the kind of
carbohydrates they eat.

Better yet, there's an added bonusa

awhen you eat these "complimentary" foods many of them
considerable fiber content and they require more calories to
digest. As a result, these complimentary carbs not only give
you more sustained energy over a longer period they also
help you to develop a better daily `burn" rate (as in
calories) and ultimately aid in weight loss.

Thus, I call them complimentary foods. They compliment your
efforts at maintaining energy balance and ideal weight.
Eating them is what I call complimentary eating.

Space doesn't allow for a long list of these foods. However,
there is a terrific web site at that
provides a great deal of information on the glycemic index
of foods and provides an extensive list of foods and their
glycemic index. When looking at this list of foods, note
that the complimentary carbs are those with the lower
glycemic index.

So what do you do with this information in real life?

1. Increase your consumption of foods that are low on the
glycemic index and avoid those that are high on the list.

2. Cut back on refined flower and processed foods by
avoiding the aisles of the super market.

3. Avoid eating too many "diet" foods. What does that mean

4. Just eat fresher more colorful foods and more
old-fashioned foods (slow cook oatmeal, lentils, barley,
nuts) and lots and lots of green stuff.

5. Take care not to fall prey to food manufacturer "spin".
All the labels for net carb, useable carb, low carb, and no
carb are mostly lies and marketing hype. There are still
more calories in a gram of alcohol than in a gram of
carbohydrate so low carb beer just doesn't matter. Low
alcohol beer is better but who wants to drink that?

6. Eat more often from your own kitchen. I know, I know I
don't have time either. But face it, life is the stuff that
always gets in the way of your plans but you plan anyway
don't you? So maybe you can cook a bunch of complimentary
foods and have leftovers if time is a premium.

7. If eating at home is not possible try to get as educated
as possible on good carbs and protein and eat prepared meals
containing smart choices.

Eating well need not be an exercise in deprivation nor
biochemistry. Eating carbs need not be the end of good
eating. Once you make a few small adjustments and see
results it gets easier to make a few more and to be a good
judge of choices.

Before long these small steps have made a considerable
distance and your results will show. You'll maintain or lose
weight at will and still enjoy the goodness of carbs.

About the author:

Allan Boshell is author of two books, countless articles,
and educational courses on how to lose weight and get fit
while enjoying the process. For more information on how to
never fail at dieting again go to

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