ERF 005: Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs

Don’t eat that white rice it will make you fat!

Oh man if you have that potato for dinner it will automatically put 5lbs on you.

Idk how you can enjoy that sandwich, do you know the carbs in that?!

Any of these sound familiar?

What if I told you you can have rice, potatoes, bread and pasta, and STILL lose weight?

Lets’ dive in to find out how. 

Today’s topic is one that I get asked quite a bit. 

That is the subject of good carbs versus bad carbs.

 And while to an extent, yes there are some types of carbohydrates that are “better” for you than other types of carbohydrates, to make to make it seem like there is good in bad foods is not what this is about.

When at the end of the day, literally all that matters is the calories. What is going to matter in terms of you losing weight.

Losing fat is going to be calories in versus calories out. Now, this is why I want to go more in depth into this because even though calories is the most important thing that matters, I’m not telling you that you can eat pop tarts, pizza and pasta, 1200 calories a day, every single day and lose weight. 

What I am saying though is, if you eat the “best” carbs, or protein, or fat, in the world, but you are eating too many calories, you will still gain weight. 

Lets talk about an example.

The first one is going to be sweet potatoes versus regular potatoes.

And I’m just going to go over on a non-biased, literally just factual information comparison. White potatoes are a little bit lower in fat and sugar. 

Sweet potatoes have fewer carbs and fewer calories. 

White potatoes are a little bit higher in magnesium and potassium. 

While sweet potatoes are higher in vitamin A and vitamin C.

So to label these foods “good” or “bad” without having context on the situation is impossible. 

To now use a scenario of context, let’s say someone has a problem staying hydrated. 

If they sweat a lot from their workouts, white potatoes would probably be a better option for them because it has more magnesium and potassium, which are the two of the main things for hydration.

So on that instance the “fattening white potato” would be the “better” option. 

Another one could be white rice versus brown rice. 

You have probably heard brown rice is better than white rice.

So, let’s chat. 

If you are someone who doesn’t digest high fiber foods very well, then brown rice may not be the best option for you.

You would get bloated, you would have digestion issues, you would have low energy.

But since that article online told you brown rice is great for fat loss, you keep chugging along. 

When in reality you could be eating white rice, and feeling and performing so much better in and out of the gym.

While it is “technically” processed, it is still a great source of carbohydrates for someone to use as fuel, especially if they are working out. 

While on the same note if someone is having trouble being hungry, and is able to digest brown rice fine, then brown rice might be the better option for them.

But unless you have the context of the situation, you cannot label which is good or bad, rather what fits the situation.

What Is Your Reasoning? 

Another thing I want to touch on is having a reasoning behind why you eat the foods you do.

As you can see, I am not a fan of you just eating foods because some article on the internet told you to, you saw your favorite celebrity eats it, or even because I told you to.

Find out what works for YOU with YOUR body.

Another example I can give of this is fueling your body for your workouts. 

If you are about to workout, and you are going to do an intense session that requires energy, a quick source of carbohydrates would be a great option for you.

They are going to get used as fuel for the workout, you may be able to workout harder, have more energy, sustained energy, better muscle pumps, along with many others. 

So if you did have white rice, or white bread, or fruit, they would be a great option.

While on the other hand, if you stuck to the seemingly “good” carbs, like oatmeal for example, I know personally I would be so full I wouldn’t have a good workout.

I would have that oatmeal in my stomach and it wouldn’t be digested.

My body would be trying to digest the oatmeal rather than use it for fuel while I am working out. 

Another great example would be breakfast. 

Maybe you know you have a long 10 hour work day ahead of you. 

You know you need longer sustained energy throughout the day.

That is what you need and will be the driving factor behind food choices. 

In this instance, oatmeal would be a great choice. 

This is because it is a slower digesting carb that can take more time to digest, which will help with longer sustained energy throughout the day.

Why do you think most people eat oatmeal for breakfast?

It is not because someone woke up one day and said “Hm, oatmeal is a great breakfast food! We shall eat this all over the globe!”.

There are reasons behind why the oatmeal is beneficial during this time. 

Why Tracking Wins Every Time

This is why I believe tracking what you eat is so important. 

If you are tracking your foods, and go a step further to track bio feedback, then this is where the magic happens. 

Bio feedback refers to things like how hungry you are, how tired you are, what your sleep is like, etc etc.

If you are tracking your food and bio feedback, and you have been eating brown rice because the internet told you to, but you feel like shit, your sleep sucks, and you are tired, then maybe brown rice isn’t for you.

But you won’t know this unless you track. 

Because you will not find out what works for YOUR body, not someone elses, YOURS, unless you are aware of these things. 

And then you can adapt and build your own nutrition plan around these foods that make you feel great, perform great, and operate like a machine. 

Glycemic Index: BS? 

One last thing I would like to cover is the Glycemic Index.

The glycemic index is basically just a chart that shows at what rate is blood glucose put into the body after you eat a carbohydrate. 

The higher up on the scale, the more quickly blood glucose is released into your body, the lower it is on the scale, the more slowly the blood glucose is released into your body.

That being said, just because a food may be high on this scale, that doesn’t inherently make it bad. 

Post workout would be a great example of this.

If you just got done a workout, you want a more high glycemic index food.

That will ensure it will spike your blood glucose faster, which will help fuel and aid in recovery. 

On the other side, a low GI food doesn’t automatically make it great for weight loss.

You can have all low GI foods, and still gain weight.

Because you are having too much of those low GI foods, and eating too many calories, which WILL lead to weight gain.

One last thing about this scale is it is based upon having foods BY THEMSELVES.

Very rarely is someone going too have white bread by itself.

Or white rice by itself. 

Usually you make a sandwhich, or have say steak and rice, my favorite. 

The moment you add something else to that food, it automatically changes the digestion profile of it.

If you add protein or fats to these carbs it will slow down digestion. 

So say that white rice on the scale was a 72 by itself, but with a piece of steak it gets slowed down.

And it is a 56 now.. does that make it a “good” carb now?

Hope you see where I am going with this. 

Wrap Up

I don’t care what article you read, I don’t care what your friend at the gym tells you, I don’t care what your mom told you, to an extent.

The reason is the that matters is calories.

Calories are going to matter no matter what.

Now, yes, some carbs may make you feel differently over a period of time. 

May make you lookk differently over a period of time.

May get digested and used differently.

But there is no real good carbs or bad carbs. 

The one final thing I will say with some conviction on this is try to stay away from highly processed carbs.

These tend to be empty calories, meaning they have very low nutrient profiles.

They don’t offer much to you besides calories and usually ending up feeling crashed from sugar, or hungrier from salt. 

I hope you guys got some good information here.

Please share it with a friend so people can know the real truth.

Information like this needs to be put out more, and you can help me do that by sharing it. 

I would greatly appreciate it, and I think other people who read it would to. 

Until next time,