You can eat carbs to lose weight? Yep–according to People magazine on Jan. 12, docs are saying a good carbs, resistant starch diet aids weight loss! Well pass the chocolate and chips, please! But wait hold it there, cravers of carbohydrates, not so fast. By good carbs, health experts aren’t saying pig out on candy and cookies. Darn, you knew it sounded too good to be true, right? Well, isn’t every “eat all the alfredo you want and lose weight” promise? No, because you can eat pasta (good carbs)–quite a lot in fact–and lose weight or stay skinny.
Confused and surprised? That’s not surprising–this info flies in the face of traditional weight loss wisdom. Dieters have been told for decades that carbohydrates were the enemy. But experts are saying that never was the case and the only reason the anti carbohydrates message got so loud was because people were confusing their bad and good carbs and how they impact the body. The key ingredient in good carbs is “resistant starch” which burns more slowly, takes longer to digest and fills you up. Resistant starch causes fewer insulin spikes as it is low glycemic (low sugar). It helps with weight loss by burning slower, giving more time to digest and leaving less to be converted to fat. So good carbs are comfort foods–they curb hunger and make you feel good without the nasty mood roller coaster of sugar.
Bad carbohydrates are highly processed, saturated fat laden and sugared–chips, pop, cake, candy, cookies, fruit juice, dried fruits. These cause insulin spikes that burn off so quickly that all the energy can’t be used before it’s converted to fat. Or they contain extra bad fats with no fatty acids to burn them off. Or they contain no protein or fiber. So if you adore pasta, rice, potatoes and bread well, belly up to the food bar, folks! Not only can you eat resistant starch–to lose weight, yes LOSE weight–you should be eating good carbohydrates as 60% of your diet!
The best resistant starch sources for weight loss are bananas, oatmeal, potatoes, beans, lentils, whole grains, plantain, pasta, rice, bread, yams, cereal, peas and corn. Remember the two Ls of weigh loss with good carbs. Less processing: the more raw, natural and whole grain the more resistant starch you get. The more processing, the less resistant starch and the fewer good carbohydrates. Opt for unbleached, whole grains. Cook rice, pasta and potatoes less. Eat cooked foods less warm (cold baked potato, rice, pasta). This aids weight loss with resistant starch plus extra metabolism boost to “heat” foods internally. The second L is late: eat good carbs later in the day for best weight loss.