2.17 Choosing the Right Carbohydrate

Lets now examine how you can chose the right healthy carbohydrates for your body. Remember most whole plant foods will be high in healthy carbohydrates so keep your focus there.

Fruits may be higher in simple carbohydrates, but these are not “added sugars” and come packaged with fiber and many other nutrients, thus they are certainly healthy to eat. Just remember to avoid overeating fruits with a higher glycemic index such as dates and pineapple. Vegetables will be high in complex carbohydrates and are always a good choice. Beans/legumes likewise will have the healthy complex carbohydrates. Nuts/seeds will have some healthy complex carbohydrates as well, but a smaller amount.

All of these above mentioned foods…will not have a label. Don’t worry about it. If you are buying foods with a label, what should you look for? Labels do not say “simple” versus “complex” carbohydrates. They will give the total number of carbohydrates measured in grams, then the amount of sugar. If the amount of sugar is even ¼ the total of the carbohydrates, then you probably getting too many simple carbohydrates in that food item.

Look for foods that have a high fiber content on the label. If there is high fiber, you are most likely getting complex carbohydrates with it. It is best to get an item with the ratio of carbohydrates to fiber of 5:1 or less. Looking at the above label, there may be only a very small amount of sugar, however look at the fiber. There is 20g of carbs and only 3g of fiber giving a 6.7 to 1 ratio which is not ideal, but better than many foods. Cereals like “Rips Big Bow” from Engine2Rescue.com and “Uncle Sam Cereal” and good high fiber choices.

Lastly, simply having the knowledge of what foods have simple carbs and complex carbs is very important to know and can help you make the right dietary choices.

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