Complex carbohydrates are super healthy and essential for a balanced diet

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What’s the deal with complex carbs?

To get the most out of every bite we take we need to consume foods that burn fat.  What type of foods are these? To understand this, we need to take a quick look at your body’s reaction to ingesting food. Your body reacts differently to the type of food source you’re consuming.

Fat for instance is processed quickly by your body since very little chemical breakdown needs to done it for your body to use it.  As such, when you consume fat your body will either use it as an immediate source of energy or store it as fat.

The food source protein on the other hand takes the longest for your body to process and as such requires more calories to burn during digestion.

This is one reason some people are big proponents of a high protein diet.  However, a high-protein diet cause a buildup of ketones which makes the body more acidic and puts more stress on your kidneys and liver in handling these compounds.  As a result a high-protein diet is not the healthiest long-term diet to adhere to.

Carbs can be your friend or your enemy

Carbohydrates are your primary source of energy and likewise are the source for the majority of our calories.  Carbohydrates can be classified as either simple or complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates consists of sugars, white breads, or any type of processed foods.  Processing foods takes out most of the fiber which makes these carbohydrates easy to digest.

Related: The ketogenic diet 3 important things to consider before starting

Complex carbohydrates on the other hand retain much of their fiber and as a result the body has to work harder to process them before they can be used as energy for your body.  These are the types of foods people typically refer to when they want foods that burn fat.

complex carbohydrates

Another way of classifying carbohydrates are by their glycemic index number.  Glycemic index or GI describes the difference in ranking of carbohydrates according to how they affect your blood glucose and insulin levels.

High insulin levels, the result of high glucose levels in your body, signal your body to start storing that excess glucose as fat.  Carbohydrates with a high GI causes this reaction.  As such you want to choose carbohydrates that have a low GI index. 

These Carbohydrates tend to produce a smaller fluctuation in your blood glucose and insulin levels. So what are some foods that burn fat or more precisely have a low glycemic index? The following is a list of foods and their GI index number.  To burn fat faster, consume foods with the lowest GI index number.

 GI values for popular foods

  • Arborio Rice 69
  • Apricots, dried 30
  • Apple 38
  • Apricots, fresh 57
  • Apricots, canned 64
  • Baked Beans 48
  • Banana 52
  • Barley, pearled 25
  • Basmati 58
  • Beets 64
  • Black Eyed Peas, canned 42
  • Broccoli 10
  • Brown Rice 55
  • Buckwheat 54
  • Capellini 45
  • Carrots 49
  • Cabbage 10
  • Cantaloupe 65
  • Cherries 22
  • Chickpeas, canned 42
  • Chana Dal 8
  • Chickpeas, dried 28
  • Converted, White 38
  • Couscous 65
  • Corn, fresh 60
  • Dates 103
  • Fettuccini (egg) 32
  • Figs, dried 61
  • Fruit Cocktail 55
  • Glutinous (Sticky) 98
  • Grapefruit 25
  • Green peas 48
  • Grapes 46
  • Instant, White 87
  • Kidney Beans, canned 52
  • Kidney Beans, dried 28
  • Kiwi 58
  • Lentils 29
  • Lettuce 10
  • Lima Beans (frozen) 32
  • Linguine 46
  • Long grain, White 44
  • Macaroni 47
  • Mango 51
  • Mushrooms 10
  • Onions 10
  • Orange, Navel 42
  • Papaya 56
  • Peach, fresh 42
  • Pear, canned 43
  • Peach, canned in juice 38
  • Pear, fresh 38
  • Pineapple, fresh 66
  • Plum 39
  • Prunes 29
  • Pumpkin 75
  • Raisins 56
  • Red Peppers 10
  • Rice vermicelli 58
  • Spaghetti, white 38
  • Spaghetti, whole wheat 37
  • Spiral Pasta 43
  • Strawberries 40
  • Short grain, White 72
  • Star Pastina 38
  • Watermelon 72
  • Wild rice 87
  • Yellow Split Peas 32

healthy carbs examples

There you have it! There’s no need to be afraid of carbs, just make sure you are using them correctly. Complex carbohydrates can benefit your diet and actually help boost your weight loss efforts. So take note of these carbs and you can print or bookmark this page for a quick reference guide for when you need it.

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