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Good Carbs Vs. Bad Carbs — How To Tell The Difference [Infographic]

good carbs bad carbs, good carbs vs bad carbs, complex carbs simplex carbs, glycemic index, good carbs bad carbs infographic, good carbs bad carbs list, good carb bad carb, what are good carbs and bad carbs, good carbohydrates, good carbs vs bad carbs chart

In my opinion, carbs are the golden ticket to weight loss. And I’m not talking about cutting them out altogether — they’re an absolutely ESSENTIAL macronutrient that should never be removed from a healthy diet, especially if you’re concerned whatsoever about sports and fitness performance. They’re HQ fuel. Athletics aside, considering that performance in the gym, on the track, or in your TRX class is what drives results and transformation, an intelligent approach to carbs is just a little bit integral.

Carbs are a misunderstood and complicated beast. They can be your training buddy, fountain of energy, and muscular growth magnet, or they can be a fat-plastering bogeyman. It all depends on the TYPE of carbs you eat — complex vs. simple, aka “good carbs” vs. “bad carbs” — and their TIMING.

In terms of timing — a small dose of simple carbs is okay directly before a workout, during lengthy endurance exercise (think Gatorade), or directly post-workout as a means of rapid replenishment. Otherwise you should focus your carb efforts on the complex variety 100% of the time, without exception.

The infographic below from online-nutrition-degress.com does a nice job breaking down complex carbs vs. simple carbs, their impact on weight-loss, and a few examples of both. It also introduces one CRITICAL concept — The Glycemic Index (GI) —  which measures how quickly different foods raise blood sugar, impact insulin, and effectively trigger the body to store body fat. Healthy, complex, lean carbs have a LOW GI score; unhealthy, fattening, simple carbs have a HIGH GI score, typically 70+.123

The GI is a simple way to assess carbs and make lean choices — use it as a tool to upgrade your nutritional decision-making process. A full searchable database is available from The University of Sydney here, and Harvard Medical School here.

 

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References, Notes, Links

  1. NutritionData.com — Glygemic Index []
  2. Glycemicindex.com []
  3. Harvard Medical School — Glycemic Index []

 

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
  • LeanItUP

    @1opinionated Well said!

    • 1opinionated

      @LeanItUP Thanks a lot, Bryan. I was so happy to see Cheerios on that list. You have no idea. 🙂

      • LeanItUP

        @1opinionated ME TOO! It’s nice to see that something we always thought was healthy actually is!

        • 1opinionated

          @LeanItUP Tell me about it. I made a few changes in my food choices&would have been irked if my go to cereal was actually fattening me up 😮