Simple and Complex Carbohydrates
Many of us know that carbs fall into 2 major categories. Simple carbs which include sugar, honey, and maple syrup and complex carbs which are whole grains, starchy veggies and legumes. The problem is that you really cannot eat endless good carbs just because they are good for you.
If you are trying to watch your carbs to lose weight, or for your pre-diabetic or diabetic condition, there is an index that you can follow to help you stay away from the extremely high carbs and keep your blood glucose stable. This is called the Glycemic Index.
We all know that sugary sweets ( the bad carbs) such as candy, and those processed food/ deep fried treats such as donuts also fall into the high glycemic food group.
The good foods: High in Starches, but also high in protein
There are also some good for you foods that are high in carbs, so you can still have them but you need to watch your portion control.
Starches: grains ( foods that are made from wheat, barley, rice, etc.), Legumes such as split peas, lentils and dry beans such as pinto, kidney beans and black beans are all good starches, but you should only consume about 1/2 cup for a servings of these delectable foods! Even too much of a good thing can have an effect on your blood glucose level for the day.
Moderation and Portion Control
A good beginning to any attempt to watch your weight is moderation and portion control on all the foods your eat. Make sure you have a measuring cup in a handy place when you are cooking your low carb meals.
Some Examples: Low, Moderate and High Glycemic Levels
Low Glycemic Fruits: grapefruit 35 Prunes 41 Apples 53 Pears 54 Plums 55 Strawberries 56 Oranges 59
High Glycemic Fruit: Watermelon 100 Cantaloupe 91 pineapple 83 Bananas 73
Low Glycemic Vegetables: Spinach, turnip greens, lettuce, water cress, zucchini, asparagus, artichokes, okra, cabbage, celery cucumbers, dill pickles, radishes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, onion, tomatoes- all 15-50
yams 52, carrots 66, potato, boiled 81, sweet potato 85, beets, 64, baked potato 110, mashed 104
Soybeans cooked 25, lentils, red, cooked 36 Garbonzo beans, dried and soaked, boiled- 39, kidney beans 39, lentils cooked green 42 split peas, yellow, cooked 45
yogurt, low fat, plain 77 Whole milk 39, skim milk 46, yogurt, low fat with fruit 47
Honey 77 White Sugar 95
General Information: If a food has a GI of 60 or more, it is rated high.
Taken in part from: Bell, SJ, Sears, B. Low-Glycemic load diets: Impact on obesity and chronic diseases. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2003. 43(4) 357-77