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BSP Nutrition Tip # 5 – High Quality Carbs

BSP Nutrition Tip # 5

By Brian St. Pierre

Ensure carbohydrate intake is from high quality sources

• Carbohydrate intake should mostly be from nutrient dense fruits, vegetables and whole starches
• Grains should mostly be whole grain, or preferably, sprouted-grains
• Minimize added sugar, high fructose corn syrup and refined grains and flours.

This a controversial topic at the moment, with many advocating for low-carb or Paleo diets that allow for minimal carbohydrate intake. The thing is these diets work, but unfortunately they are not overly enjoyable or sustainable for most people.

What good is a dietary lifestyle if you can’t stay on it for the long term?

In the past 10-15 years or so there has been a focus on carbohydrates and the potential of them causing so many of the metabolic problems today; metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, overweight, obesity, etc.

First there was the Atkins craze, which while effective was certainly not an enjoyable diet for the majority of the people on it. Then came the Paleo movement, eschewing grains, legumes and more, which still seems to be gaining steam, and has zealots to the point of being more like a religion than a diet.

Fueling that fire was Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories. While I still feel this book was excellent at completely dispelling the lipid hypothesis as the cause of heart disease, its simplistic focus on carbs and insulin as the final cause is short-sighted and incomplete.

This switch from pointing all of the blame at fat, to now pointing all of the blame at carbohydrates is happening all over the place. In my mind people need to stop pointing their finger at carbohydrates in general, and definitely stop lumping in real food sources with sugar and refined flour. They are not one and the same. A Puegot and a Maserati are both cars, but no one would classify them as equal.

Humans throughout history have survived on all kinds of different diets, many of them very high-carb. The difference is their carbohydrates came in the form of starchy tubers like sweet potatoes and regular potatoes, fruit and fermented grains.

They certainly were not living on white bread and soda, that is for sure. While carbohydrates in and of themselves are not bad for you, ensuring your intake comes from foods like sweet potatoes, potatoes, quinoa, oats, beans, sprouted grains and fruits and vegetables will actually improve your health, not hurt it.

Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Great Carbs Sources (organic if possible)

– all fruits and vegetables
– sweet potatoes
– potatoes
– corn
– beans
– old-fashioned oat
– sprouted-grain breads, wraps, english muffins and cereals
– quinoa

By on April 5th, 2011


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Comments (6)

  1. Posted by - Scott Jones on April 6, 2011

    I have become 100% sold on this very concept. After all, fruits and vegetables are carbs. What healthy diet could possibly not include fruits and vegetables?

  2. Posted by - Erika on April 6, 2011

    You name cereals as a great carb source. Shouldn’t this be further qualified to a certain degree? A lot of cereals contain mostly simple sugars…

  3. Posted by - Birigik on April 7, 2011

    You’re right. My health really suffered from going low carb on the insistence of my trainer. I developed hypothyroidism, vitamin deficiencies and digestive problems, not to mention losing muscle mass and power as my body struggled to fuel my intense workouts on meat and greens.
    It felt BAD!!!!! I also eventually developed stress related fat gain, later explained by a doctor as my body’s response to having to constantly use protein for fuel.
    I am a female endurance athlete and dancer clocking up often 20 or 25 hours a week or more.
    My trainer told me that to get into single digits BF I had to eat less than 50g of carbs a day and no grains.
    It was the worse thing I ever did for my health, since I had a lot of problems digesting all that protein and my digestive problems led to hormonal disbalances.
    Now 3 years later I’m going back to my vegetarian, grain, seed and bean based diet and hope to get back in the shape I was.

    • Posted by - Waghornliam on June 12, 2012

      How are you going with this one year on?

  4. Posted by - JC on April 13, 2011

    Why is corn listed as a good carb source? It is a resistant starch with little nutritional value. Because it is a resistant starch, it doesn’t even break down in some peoples’ digestive system. Please explain.

  5. Posted by - Michael macedo on June 7, 2011

    Hi i’m a student from edmonton county school, may i have your permission to use this photo for my ict coursework

    Michael Macedo

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