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We Love Carbs & You Could Too! [Learn how to eat what you want]

A Guide To Carbohydrates

When it comes to the consumption of carbs and the thousands of “myths” that are floating around, I’m finding more and more that as a society, we have an altered perception of such a crucial macronutrient. When I say altered, I actually mean not even in the ballpark.

In fact, more people than not seem to be avoiding carbs completely. Fortunately, if you’re reading this article, it would suggest you’re not one of those who abstain from including them in your diet. After all, they’re our body’s main source of energy. But the confusion seems to lie around the differences between types of carbohydrates.

To be clear: we’re talking White Carbs vs Brown Carbs. Simple Carbs vs Complex Carbs

High Glycemic Index Carbs vs Low Glycemic Index Carbs.

Here’s the kicker- white carbs, simple carbs and high GI (glycemic index) carbs are all the same thing. Just as brown carbs, complex carbs and low GI carbs are the same thing.

Different terminology but describing the same concept.

Let’s get a bit deeper..

What’s the Difference?

The difference is determined by the rate at which a carbohydrate is formed into glucose and enters the body through the bloodstream. White carbs, simple carbs and high GI carbs will enter the system faster than brown carbs, complex carbs and low GI carbs.

What does Glycemic Index mean?

We're talking the measurement

of time at which certain carbohydrates actually enters the bloodstream.

It was implemented initially for those with diabetes so that they had a resource guide to help stabilize their sugar levels. However, athletes and bodybuilders use the tool now to help sustain energy levels and assist in recovery. So, GI is first determined & tested by the consumption of different carb sources to clients or athletes in 50g portions.

The blood sugar is then monitored over the next 3 hours creating a curve on the graph.

The more glucose that reaches the bloodstream in the initial 3 hours, the higher the GI for that carb source. Hence the low GI and high GI groupings. Check some out below.

Low GI Carbohydrates

Here’s a list of some of the preferred sources of carbohydrates that are labeled under the low GI. These are recommended for sustained energy levels as they have slower absorptions and lowered insulin responses:

  • Nuts

  • Legumes

  • Some fruits e.g. plums, peaches, apples, oranges, pears, grapes, grapefruits

  • Most vegetables

  • Pasta

  • Converted rice

  • Brown rice

  • Barley

  • Bulgar

  • Dairy (skim milk, whole milk, yogurt)

  • Sweet potato

  • Oats

  • All-bran

High GI Carbohydrates

  • Honey

  • Puffed Cereals

  • Rice Cakes

  • Potatoes

  • Candy

  • Breads, especially white.

  • Instant Products (oatmeal, instant cereal)

  • Carrots, corn, peas