Good Carbohydrates: Fruits and Vegetables
The Good Carbohydrates: Vegetables and Fruits
While bad carbohydrates cause weight gain, good carbohydrates can help you lose weight – and restore your health.
How Good Carbohydrates Fight Fat
Although fruits and vegetables are largely carbohydrate in nature, most of them rank low on the glycemic scales. This means that they do not substantially elevate blood sugar or insulin levels.
As a result, they do not promote fat synthesis and storage.
Fruits and vegetables are also high in fiber. Fiber further reduces insulin secretion by slowing the absorption of food from your intestines.
It also creates feelings of satiety and helps you eat less.
Filling up on these good carbohydrates will also help you lose weight by eliminating the bad carbohydrates grain products – grain products - from your diet.
Choose Low Glycemic Produce
While most fruits and vegetables rank low on the glycemic scales, root vegetables like carrots, turnips and beets contain more sugar than vegetables that grow above ground and rank higher on these scales.
Some fruits, particularly tropical fruits like pineapples, also rank fairly high on the glycemic scales.
If you are trying to lose weight you may want to avoid these higher glycemic items.
If you do choose to eat them, be sure to eat them with other foods that contain protein and fat such as meat or fish. Eating high glycemic carbohydrates together with these other foods will help lower the insulin response that they otherwise cause.
A glycemic index greater than 55 is considered high. To find the glycemic index of various foods click here.
Organically grown fruits and vegetables generally cost more than those that are conventionally grown. But if you are trying to lose weight, they are worth the price!
This is because pesticides are used on conventionally grown produce – and they remain on that produce even after washing.
Pesticide consumption has been linked to the development of cancer, nerve damage and immune system dysfunction. And eating pesticides can also cause you to gain weight.
This is because many pesticides are structurally similar to the hormone estrogen. As a consequence, eating pesticides can cause symptoms of estrogen excess - including weight gain.
Can’t Afford To Buy All Organic?
If eating all organic puts a crimp in your budget, try eating part-organic by avoiding those fruits and vegetables that are the most likely to be contaminated with pesticides.
The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization founded to protect public health and the environment has produced a list of the "Dirty Dozen" : 12 fruits and vegetables that are the most contaminated with pesticides when grown by conventional farming methods based tests conducted by the USDA and FDA.
More Reasons to Fill Up on Good Carbohydrates: Antioxidants and Disease Prevention
Eating good carbohydrates can definitely help you lose weight.
But there are even more reasons to fill up on fruits and vegetables.
In addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals fruits and vegetables are also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals.
Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that damage cells, cause inflammation and lead to the development of a variety of diseases.
Your body produces free radicals in response to exposure to environmental insults like ultraviolet radiation but it also produces them through normal metabolic processes. By neutralizing free radicals, antioxidants prevent them from adversely interacting you’re your cells.
A diet rich in antioxidants has been shown to lower the risk of stomach cancer, esophageal cancer, prostate cancer breast cancer, bladder cancer lung cancer and to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.
And if that’s not enough to convince you to eat these good carbohydrates, antioxidants have also been shown to prevent the free radical damage to the skin that causes wrinkling and aging!
More Reason to Eat Good Carbohydrates: Your Bones on Vegetables
In addition to helping you lose weight, fruits and vegetables can also help save your bones.
Osteoporosis, the disease in which aging bones become susceptible to fracture due to a progressively loss of calcium, is common in older people: It is estimated that half of all women and a quarter of all men over the age of 50 in the US will suffer a fracture as a result of bone loss due to this disease.
But eating good carbohydrates can help prevent osteoporosis.
Although some of the bone loss responsible for the development of osteoporosis is the result of a decline in the hormones testosterone and progesterone that occurs with aging consumption of acidic foods also causes bone loss.
This is because the acids produced by these foods cause calcium to be released from your bones.
But this loss of calcium can be prevented by eating alkaline foods.
Alkaline foods neutralize the acids produced by acidic foods. This prevents the loss of calcium from bone that these acids would otherwise cause.
In fact, eating enough alkaline foods will actually strengthen your bones and teeth by causing calcium to be deposited in them! Fruits and vegetables - the good carbohydrates - are alkaline foods.
In fact, they are the only foods that are alkaline. All other foods including meats, dairy products and grains are acidic. So, to prevent the development of osteoporosis, these good carbohydrates should be eaten with every meal.