In Part 1, we established that the ultimate goal of effective fat burning carbohydrate consumption is to keep blood sugar levels consistent and balanced. In doing so, insulin levels will remain under control, the fat burning metabolism will be maximized and the body’s energy levels and mood will remain elevated.
The only issue now is to determine which sources of carbohydrates will aid us in achieving that goal. This is where things get a bit trickier, as there are several factors that need to be addressed.
Carbohydrates are essentially broken down into two main categories: “simple” and “complex”.
Carbohydrates are basically “rings” of carbon/hydrogen/oxygen, and it is the number of rings and the manner in which they hook together that determines whether they are simple or complex.
Conventional wisdom used to tell us that we should limit our consumption of simple carbohydrates and focus on consuming complex carbohydrates. The logic behind this was that the simpler structures are broken down faster while the complex structures are broken down gradually.
We now know that this is not entirely accurate. For example, a white potato is a complex carbohydrate that raises blood sugar levels quickly, while an apple is a simple carbohydrate that raises blood sugar levels slowly.
This brings us to a more accurate tool: the glycemic index.
Rather than focusing on the notions of “simple” and “complex”, the glycemic index evaluates the rate at which carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels by assigning them a ranking between 0 and 100.
In general, a GI ranking of 55 or less classifies a carbohydrate as “low glycemic” (raises blood sugar levels very slowly)… 56 to 69 would be considered “medium” (raises blood sugar levels at a moderate pace)… while 70 and above is considered “high” (raises blood sugar levels quickly and sharply).
While the GI is a more accurate criteria to use as opposed to the “simple” and “complex” method, the drawback is that each ranking is based on that specific food source consumed on its own in a fasted state.
We never consume carbohydrates on their own (in order to maximize fat loss they should always be combined with a lean protein source), and we rarely ever consume them in a fasted state.
This is very important, because when carbohydrates are combined with other food sources (such as proteins and fats), their GI properties can be dramatically altered.
So while the glycemic index IS one useful tool that can be utilized as part of the overall picture, relying on it as the sole means of carbohydrate selection is an obvious mistake.
The next and final criteria that can be used is the issue of “natural” carbohydrate sources versus “refined” carbohydrate sources.
Refined carbohydrates are foods where the high fiber bits (the bran and germ) have been removed from the grain. White rice, white bread, sugary cereals and any item made from white flour are all examples of refined carbohydrates. These sources of carbohydrates are very simplistic in structure, low in nutritional value and raise blood sugar levels quickly and sharply.
Natural carbohydrates are simply those which have not been modified and still contain the whole grain, including the bran and germ. These sources are high in fiber, take longer to digest, are more nutritious, will keep you feeling full for longer, and have a negligible effect on blood sugar levels when consumed as part of a balanced meal.
To determine if a carbohydrate source is natural, look for the first ingredient on the package to be whole wheat flour, brown rice, rye flour, barley, or oats. Terms such as “rice syrup”, “corn syrup”, “sucrose” and “brown sugar” all indicate that the source has been refined, as does any product made from white flour.
As you can see, there is more than one criteria to be used when choosing fat burning carbohydrate sources.
Here is a summed up review that takes all factors into account…
1) Refined carbohydrate sources of any kind should be avoided.
2) Unrefined starchy carbohydrate sources are fine to consume as part of a balanced meal.
3) Vegetables of all kinds are highly acceptable, particularly green fibrous vegetables.
4) Fruit sources on the medium to lower end of the glycemic index are acceptable with a maximum of 2-3 pieces per day.
5) Low fat and non-fat dairy products are fine to consume in moderation.
With all of that in mind, here is a basic list of carbohydrate sources to include in your fat burning diet …
Carbohydrate sources that should form the bulk of your diet
Vegetables of all kinds Oatmeal Whole grain breads Whole grain cereals Brown rice Potatoes Sweet potatoes Yams Barley Rye Lentils
Carbohydrate sources that should be consumed in moderation
Fresh fruits Low-fat/Non-fat yogurt Skim milk
Hopefully by now you have grasped the basics of carbohydrate consumption and understand which food sources are best to include in your diet and why.
To learn more about proper fat burning nutrition, including the topics of caloric intake, protein, fats, meal frequency, meal combinations and more, visit www.HowToBurnFat.com. You can sign up for my free 6-part fat burning email course and gain instant access to my renowned body makeover program, “The Real Deal Body Transformation System”.