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Nutrition, Diet and Supplements Discuss nutrition, diet, cutting and weight loss. Supplement discussions as well.

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Old 03-01-2012, 12:05 PM   #1
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Default Carbs

How do I know if carbs are fast digesting ones or slow digesting ones?
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:21 PM   #2
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Hoo boy. I'm going to start out with some basic stuff, and if you have more questions, let me know.

First, since you are asking this, I'm guessing you are fairly new to the study of macro nutrients. The MOST important thing is where the carbs are coming from, not how fast they digest, but it sort of goes hand in hand. Heavily refined carbs frequently digest more quickly, but thats not always the case.

Look to get your carbs from vegetables, roots, and bulbs primarily. Sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, rutabaga are all excellent sources. Grains are less healthy, whole or not, in most cases. Quinoa isn't too bad, but white flour isn't going to do you any favors. Its rare to have to worry if you are getting enough carbs, your liver is easily capable of manufacturing them.

As for actual speed of digestion, check out something called the glycemic index. Its mostly bunk science, but it will tell you what digests quickly and what doesn't.

This is very general, but a starting point. Others will have different opinions, but this is what I go by to keep my blood sugar stable.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
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I'll just post a quote seen as I'm bad with words.

Quote:
Simple Vs. Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are classified into two groups, simple and complex carbohydrates. Both types of carbohydrates can be included in your diet, but in correct proportion; if you want to maintain good weight and optimum health. Simple carbs are made up of basic sugar while complex carbs are made up of starches. Simple carbs or sugars break down into glucose immediately and offer instant energy to different parts of your body through blood. Complex carbs require more time for breaking down into energy and so are able to supply constant energy for a longer period.

Carbohydrates can also be classified as refined and unrefined carbohydrates. Highly processed food contains refined carbohydrates that are low in the natural nutrients like fibers, vitamins and minerals. Refined products are generally devoid of all nutrients and fiber, so it is better to avoid such products. Various artificial chemicals and sugars are often added to them. Therefore, limited consumption of refined carbs is advised. Carbohydrates that are in their natural state (in fruits and vegetables) are called unrefined carbohydrates. You should consume more unrefined carbohydrates, because they contain all the naturally occurring nutrients that are essential for proper body metabolism. Fiber helps prevent severe fluctuations of blood sugar levels. It improves the digestive health of the person. You should consume about 20 to 45 grams of dietary fiber every day. To get the required amount of fiber, you need to consume unrefined carbohydrates. Brown rice, beans, barley, bran cereal, lentils, millet, couscous, wheat/whole grain bread and cereals, vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, herbs, lamb, poultry and other whole grain products contain complex/unrefined carbohydrates. Low fat dairy products can also be included in the list of healthy carbohydrates.

Simple sugars are present in milk, molasses, fruits, refined sugar while complex starches are present in whole grain products. Simple carbs get stored while complex carbs do not get stored over a period of time. Moreover, when not burned adequately, simple carbs can lead to serious health problems. As 'generate energy' is an important carbohydrates function, it is necessary to have enough carbs in your diet. Here is a chart which describes the amount of carbohydrates in common vegetables.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:28 PM   #4
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Heres a simple chart that brut is talking about.

Glycemic Index Food Chart: List of Glycemic Values of Foods
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bruteforce View Post
Hoo boy. I'm going to start out with some basic stuff, and if you have more questions, let me know.

First, since you are asking this, I'm guessing you are fairly new to the study of macro nutrients. The MOST important thing is where the carbs are coming from, not how fast they digest, but it sort of goes hand in hand. Heavily refined carbs frequently digest more quickly, but thats not always the case.

Look to get your carbs from vegetables, roots, and bulbs primarily. Sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, rutabaga are all excellent sources. Grains are less healthy, whole or not, in most cases. Quinoa isn't too bad, but white flour isn't going to do you any favors. Its rare to have to worry if you are getting enough carbs, your liver is easily capable of manufacturing them.

As for actual speed of digestion, check out something called the glycemic index. Its mostly bunk science, but it will tell you what digests quickly and what doesn't.

This is very general, but a starting point. Others will have different opinions, but this is what I go by to keep my blood sugar stable.
Yes I am new to this all. I am just starting looking into a weightlifting program. Thanks for the advice. I will keep it handy.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaster View Post
Yes I am new to this all. I am just starting looking into a weightlifting program. Thanks for the advice. I will keep it handy.
Since you are just starting out, do yourself a HUGE favor and don't get too caught up in all the little details; like slow or fast carbs. Just focus on getting less or more calories depending on your goals, getting enough protein from whole foods, and progressing on a good strength routine. Don't forget rest and recovery are also important. Keep it simple, the little details are only important when you get much further down the path.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:20 PM   #7
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^^ What he said for now.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaster View Post
How do I know if carbs are fast digesting ones or slow digesting ones?
Great post above; very thorough. A simple way of putting it is simple carbs usually follow sugars. Simple carbohydrates are the fast absorbing carbohydrates and are found in things like candy, snicker bars, soda, while complex carbohydrates come from mainly grain sources like cereal or spaghetti.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
As for actual speed of digestion, check out something called the glycemic index. Its mostly bunk science, but it will tell you what digests quickly and what doesn't.
Off to do research. I've never actually studied who created the glycemic index, and the science behind it.
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