There are virtually hundreds of sources of carbohydrates. However, you need to know which ones are helpful for you and your low carb diet. There are allowable carbohydrates that provide you with sufficient energy as well as vitamins and minerals. Others may not be too helpful which can cause surges or drops in glucose levels. Learn more about the food choices.
There are two types of carbohydrates – fibrous and starchy. Fibrous carbohydrates come from sources like green leafy vegetables and fruits. These contain high amounts of fiber as well making them easily digestible. Fibrous carbohydrates contain less calories and its glucose equivalent is lower compared to starchy ones so you can eat a lot without worrying about gaining too much weight. There are hyperglycemic fruits however that contain high amounts of glucose once eaten like mango and pineapple so these should be eaten sparingly.
Starchy carbohydrates contain a lot of starch, are higher in caloric content and have higher glucose content. The body then gets to convert most of it into glycogen, others are used up for energy and excess are either eliminated or stored as fat. Starchy carbohydrates do provide more energy because of higher glucose content. These also can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Potatoes, rice and pasta are examples of starchy carbohydrates. In a low carb diet, you may want to restrict or limit intake of these.
Carbohydrates may be digested slowly, moderately or quickly depending on their type. Slow-digesting carbs take a while before reaching the bloodstream so you feel fuller longer. These also protect glycogen stored in your muscles. Examples of slow-digesting carbs are apples, oranges, brown rice and oatmeal.
Medium-digesting carbs are moderately digested providing enough energy and also maintaining blood sugar levels. These are good for low carb dieters who are already in their maintenance phase. Examples are corn, pasta and fruits.
Fast-digesting carb provide instant energy since these quickly enter the bloodstream. Insulin levels also rise considerably. These are usually not the kind that low carb dieters would want to include. Examples are potatoes, sodas and white bread.
When planning a low carb diet, it is important that you consume enough calories to stay healthy. The idea is to burn more energy than your daily caloric intake to lose weight and fat. Low fat dieters should rely on slow and medium-digesting carbs to keep feeling full and avoid sugar spikes and hunger pangs.
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