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5 Good Carbs For The Body You Want

Good carbs vs. Bad Carbs. It’s a battle of the ages (or at least, the last few years) and one where most people find themselves caught standing in the middle. And the “good/bad”simplification doesn’t help either–Good Carbs/Bad Carbs is so general as to be confusing to itself. After all, what qualifies a carb as “bad” and who made others the goody two shoes? Here’s a pretty simple way to keep things sorted out:

Bad Carbs = Processed, refined and no fiber. IE- food that’s still counted as a macronutrient “carb” but has been stripped of much of its “micronutrient” or vitamin/phytonutrient properties. Usually comes boxed or bagged or an expiration date that allows it to survive nuclear attack.

Good Carbs = Unprocessed, unrefined and loaded with fiber. IE- Food that’s as close to its natural state as when it was uprooted or picked and still retains other nutrients besides just “simple carbs” or quickly converted energy. IE- They were born that way.

Here’s five (5) of my go-to carbs that I don’t worry much about. They’re easy to prepare and “Good” all around with nutritional profiles that do more for you than simply provide energy (sugar can do that… but that’s about all it provides) they’re also filling and versatile– allowing you to do more with them than simply eat them as “a side”:

Quinoa

A super popular “grain-like” carb…and for good reason. Quinoa is high in protein for a plant (roughly 2.5g per oz.) and also has the added bonus of being a complete protein– IE, quinoa contains all nine essential amino acids. Nutritional mumbo-jumbo aside, quinoa is crazy-versatile. It’s cookes similar to rice (2 parts water to 1 par quinoa) and is similar in texture to couscous. Its flavor is “earthy/nutty” but plays well with other foods. I eat it cold or hot as a side, a salad base or filling in say, stuffed peppers. Quinoa has about 5g of fiber per serving (about 3/4 cup cooked) and, like most plant-based foods, a boatload of phytonutrients. As it turns out, Quinoa spawned my new favorite mid-morning snack as well:

Oats

The ol’ body building go-to. Great form of low-glycemic carbs loaded with fiber, protein and– as all good carbs are– pretty versatile. There’s some variety out there for texture eaters if you’re tired of the same ol’ morning Quaker Rolled Oats style. Steel Cut oats cook into a chewy “cracked wheat” style morning cereal and can be punched up with a dash of chopped walnuts, a few berries and maybe even some almond milk.

Brown Rice

Another slow-release carb, brown rice has the usual suspect of fiber and other phytonutrients. And while white rice and brown rice are nutritionally equivalent from a “nutritional label” standpoint, the brown rice has the fiber white rice has been stripped of, which contributes to its slow-release goodness. Of course, there’s debate about the anti-nutrient properties of phytic acid and whether that renders brown rices nutritional advantages moot… but I’ll leave that one up to the duelists in the never-ending Vegan/Paleo cage match.

Ezekiel Bread

Who said bread was bad? If you’ve got a bread fix that needs fixin’, Ezekiel Bread is a great choice. If you haven’t heard of Ezekiel’s stuff, there’s probably a reason: this bread isn’t located in the bread aisle. Ezekiel bread is located in the frozen foods section as it uses no preservatives. It’s a bit drier than most bread you’re used to and not nearly as “sweet” but at only 15g carb per slice with 3g fiber and 5g protein, it’s solid stuff– not to mention sprouted grains have more nutrients and neutralize that big bad phytic acid we just talked about. Two slices equal about as many calories as one slice regular bread.  Click here for a handy store finder if you’re interested in giving it a try.

Vegetables

It’s a cheat! Vegetables are a great source of carbs… and in most cases, you can eat as many as you want as they’re so nutrient dense and calorically light and your body processes them differently (and better) than most carbs or other nutrition sources. When it comes to vegetables, go to town. If you’re looking for ideas, the “Pious Tier” of Michi’s Ladder is loaded with them.

Picking the right carbs for your goals is critical to your program success whether it’s P90X, Insanity or a Chalene Johnson program. And since no man/woman is a fitness island and success grows like a weed with support, stay on track and receive personal tips and advice by adding me as your free coach and mentor right here

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