Low Carb? Is it really going to help?

Finding a way to lower the carbs in your diet can be as simple as counting these guitars at the craft show here in San Diego's Old Town!

Finding a way to lower the carbs in your diet can be as simple as counting these guitars at the craft show here in San Diego’s Old Town!



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

Starchy Vegetables

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