Slow Carbs: Fast Carbs

I’ve looked all over the internet for this very simple list – what types (names) of food are slow digesting carbs & what types (names) of food are fast digesting carbs? What’s an example? i.e. fruit, whole grains, bagels, bread. Which ones are fast and which ones are slow?

Also, when should I consume fast digesting carbs and when should i consume slow digesting carbs? i.e. breakfast, lunch or dinner? A morning, afternoon, night? before or after a workout? Thank you. John. [via Ask Questions]

I think your questions are answered in Slow-Digesting Carbs and Fast-Digesting Carbs.

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46 Responses to “Slow Carbs: Fast Carbs”

  1. Deanna Says:

    you should eat a slow carb a fast carb and a protein in each meal and you will speed up you metabolism! yay!

  2. niki Says:

    So is the protien one low in fat or high??

  3. Irma Says:

    where can I find this very simple list of slow carbs & fast carbs?

  4. Elaine Says:

    U need all 3: Slow and fast carbs AND protein. For example, Protein-steak; Slow carb-fruit; Fast carb-Mac and chz.

    Fast Carbs-White pastas, mac and Chz, fries, desserts, potatoes, alcohol and white breads.
    Slow Carbs-Salads, veggies, dark beans and fruits are slow carbs. Dark pasta and dark breads.
    Protein-Hamburger, steak, chicken, beef, wings, fish, tuna, pork, ham, bacon, eggs, chz and milk.
    If you drink Milk with ur meals, eat less of the protein portion (steak) to enjoy more glasses of milk.

    When snacking, focus on eating slow carbs or smaller portions of fast carbs. Yogurt is a good snack bc most people consume much protein in a day.

    Of course, you need to exercise. Pool or walk. Buy p90x…its awesome for losing or maintaining weight or toning your muscles. I was a soccer junkie but I tore my meniscus. I gained 35 lbs. since then, but I tried to incorporate all 3 things in my meals and it has worked. I’ve lost 10 in the first 2 weeks. Healthy weight. Make sure you walk or some sort of exercise…even if its Wii Fit!

    ***oops…yogurt is a good snack bc most people DO NOT consume much protein in a day!!!!

  5. Miranda Says:

    Thank you Elaine!!

  6. Angel Says:

    wow elaine 10 pounds in 2 weeks? do u snack in between? what do you eat? how big are your portions? how many times a day do you eat? I’m trying to lose weight and really need your help.

  7. Hannah Says:

    To Angel (And everyone else):

    I know I’m not Elaine, but it’s the same plan I’m doing at the moment (just started). It’s pretty simple; 1:1:1 ratio. One slow carb, one fast carb and one protien with every major meal. Definately snack in between, but give your body 2-3 hours between meals and snack (that way you don’t have a carb overload). For snacks, keep it under 200 calories, and the best is a protien or slow carb (fast carbs are ok too!) The reason for snacking is so your blood sugar stays balanced. If it’s dropping majorly between breakfeast and lunch – you’re bound to eat more at lunch instead of the right portions.

    So, just remember the right portions of each thing (slow carb, fast carb and protien) and light snacks in between(giving the body a 2-3 hour rest) and it’ll help boots your metabolism! Another great tip for weight loss is to get in at least 12 minutes of strength training(sit-ups and bicep curls, or even yoga) a day can also boots your metabolism and help you burn fat and tone your body. Plus, if you find time in the morning before you shower, it’ll help wake you up and feal energized all day.

    Hope this helped.

    Oh, and I forgot. A simple list (not all of it) of the fast and Slow carbs:

    Fast Carbs: Most fruit(i.e. cherries, nectariens and grapes), Pasta, Instant Oatmeal, Bread, Corn Rice, Winter Squash, Melon, Low-fat milk.

    Slow Carbs: Artichokes, Asparagus, Bell Peppers, Cauliflower, Greens, Broccoli, Cucumbers, Mushrooms, Summer Squash, Legumes, Low-sugar fruits (i.e. tomatoes, berries, grapefruit, lemons, limes).

    Also, a couple other things. one and a half tsp. of cinnamon a day can also help regulate your blood sugar levels, and as does maple syrup! (get grade B maple syrup for the best results, has more nutrients and richer flavor). Maple syrup also helps give your immune system a boost.

  8. Barbara Mudd Says:

    Angel, I hope your first few days of this diet have been successful. I’ve had a short delay in getting started on this same plan. (Did you find this plan in for women First?) So, I’ve been to the grocery store and will get started with breakfast in the morning. One question: does the oatmeal, for some reason, have to be instant or do you think that’s simply for convenience? Good luck! Let us know how it’s going for you.

  9. Marybelle Bee Says:

    Is there a book title for this diet? I just found it at the eye doc’s office in Women First and it looks like something I’d like to try.

  10. Mae Says:


    I don’t know of a book for this diet, but I do know that the food lovers fat loss diet follows this same principle of combining fast and slow carbs with protein.

  11. Joy Says:

    Marybelle Bee: I just wanted to let you know that the name of the 1:1:1 Plan is called The Food Lovers Fat Loss System and was created by a nutritionist by the name of Robert Ferguson. I am going to give it a try for a couple of weeks and see what happens. The whole idea behind the plan fits my lifestyle and will blend nicely with the meals I prepare for my family. That is a big catch for me; everything has to blend for the busy family, or else I can’t stay on one exclusively for me – not enough time in a day to prepared two meals! Good luck on your plan if you decide to start this, also if you come across a large list, not just the list in Women First, but a more inclusive list, please share!

  12. africarenee Says:

    If I drink a cup of v8 juice and eat a cup of yogurt does that cover the fast carb, slow carb, protein?

  13. Amy Says:

    does anyone have suggestions for slow carbs at breakfast? that part has proven challenging……

  14. Tam Says:

    Amy, if Hannah’s list is correct, then here are some breakfast ideas I’d personally eat… grapefruit (w/anything), berries (maybe added to your cereal), tomato juice (or v8), cucumber or tomato w/cole slaw or cottage cheese, sauteed zucchini (my personal favorite breakfast during the summer, though most people think I’m weird for it), breakfast burritos (black beans, little salsa in a tortilla w/scrambled eggs), BLT’s (the lettuce & tomato should count) … I’m sure there’s a lot more.

  15. Lanna Says:

    Hi everyone. I’m venturing out on this eating lifestyle (for obvious reasons, I’m steering clear of calling it a diet! LOL, following in the footsteps of my mom. She is a diabetic with heart disease who recently underwent hospitalization. The nutritionist there set her on this eating plan and within the first month she lost over 20 pounds! My philosophy is that if my 60 year old mother can do it, so can I. I wish everyone the same success she’s had with this plan.

  16. maggie Says:

    RAMP UP YOUR FIBER and you will lose weight and inches! I lost 30 pounds in 10 weeks simply by eating MORE BEANS and FIGS every day!

    Breakfast: 2 strips bacon, 2 scrambled eggs, w/wo cheese, and BEANS! (start the day with water and 4-6 figs).

    Lunch: Salad, preferably romaine with chicken, turkey, fish, veg’s and BEANS! Water before meal.

    Dinner: same as lunch.

    Snack: lite chocolate soy milk (Silk) with real whipped cream on top!

    DRINK YOUR WATER EVERY DAY, especially if exercising! The weight and inches melt off! I would bike 7 miles or swim laps or hike for exercise! FUN!

    If you relapse on weekends, get back on the horse Monday morning! Check out Fourhour workweek diet – it is exactly what I was doing on my own! That diet claims you can lose 20 pounds in 30 days. I found losing 0.5 every day was a healthy weight loss, not so drastic. Americans are fat because they eat sugar, salt, and fat and starches. Period. EAT FIBER AND BE HEALTHY! DRINK YOUR WATER! BE HEALTHY AND FIT!

  17. miranda Says:

    hi everyone most of you answered my question on what slow carb fast carbs are but my question is what are the portions you should do it in, i mean i work out at the gym every other day, and my goal is to lose 60 pounds by my wedding in oct of 2010; i would be happy with 50 but i want to get from a size 18 to a size 8 or 6.

  18. maggie Says:

    Miranda – Do these three things that fit people do:

    1. NEVER SKIP BREAKFAST! It sets your metabolism furnace burning!

    2. Find exercise you LOVE to do, and do it REGULARLY (a daily desire).

    3. NEVER EAT after your last meal, three hours before bedtime.

    Do not worry about portions, because if you eat a meal balanced with protein, fat, and slow-carbs (beans), you will feel full. START WITH WATER BEFORE A MEAL!

    If you are not drinking at least 8x8oz (64 oz) of water daily, you are dehydrated. We think we are hungry when actually we are THIRSTY! Try it!

    If you start this new LIFESTYLE, you will look and feel wonderful for your wedding and married life! YOU CAN DO IT! I am now 60 and people think I am 38!

    My driver’s license shows my big Julia Roberts smile (and braces!) It is fun! I am 5’6″ and wear a size 6 dress. It was no trouble to lose my 30 pounds.

    The gym is a good place to work out, but if you do NOT let the bad food in the front door, it cannot be a permanent guest! Why wear your stored food?

    Remember that you are what you eat – if you eat natural fruits and veg’s, natural meat and fish, you will be a picture of health. That beauty will radiate from your smile.

    Remember that 2-4 pounds a week is a gradual and healthy weight loss – you can easily reach your goal by October, and have a fun summer looking hot!

  19. Jenna Says:

    Go to ask Jeeves for a complete list of slow carbs. I just got a three page list. And as far as fast carbs it said anything white. Good luck!

  20. gigi Says:

    i am ready and excited to start this 1.1.1 plan , my goal is to lose 15 pounds. i hope i can do it.

  21. grace Says:

    Ok guys someone please answer my question. I need to know, what are a list of slow carbs and fast carbs. I need to lose some weight. So i would be very happy if someone would reply. I have looked all over the internet and can’t find anything on slow carbs and fast carbs so, i came here. Someone please help!

  22. Samantha Says:

    List of fast Carbs (Simple Carbs): Table sugar, Corn syrup, Fruit juice, Candy, Cake Bread made with white flour, Pasta made with white flour, Soda pop, Candy, All baked goods made with white flour, Most packaged cereals, Honey, Milk, Yogurt, Jam, Chocolate, Biscuit.

    List of slow Carbs (Complex Carbs): Spinach, Whole Barley, Grapefruit, Turnip Greens, Buckwheat, Apples, Lettuce, Buckwheat bread, Prunes, Water Cress, Oat bran bread, Dried apricots, Zucchini, Oatmeal, Pears, Asparagus, Oat bran cereal, Plums, Artichokes, Museli, Strawberries, Okra, Wild rice, Oranges, Cabbage, Brown rice, Yams, Celery, Multi-grain bread, Carrots, Cucumbers, Pinto beans, Potatoes, Dill Pickles, Low fat yogurt, Soybeans, Radishes, Skim milk, Lentils, Broccoli, Navy beans, Garbanzo beans, Brussels, Sprouts, Cauliflower, Kidney beans, Eggplant, Soy milk, Lentils, Onions, Whole meal bread, Split peas.

  23. Lauren Says:

    I disagree with Samantha. SKim milk, apples, dried apricots, and wild rice (which contains zero fiber btw) are not slow carbs. Skim milk has alot of lactose(milk sugar) with zero fat, and zero fiber to slow the digestion of these carbohydrates. Also muesli has about the same glycemic index as a piece of pound cake. But don’t take my word for it. Grace do yourself a favor and buy a book listing the glycemic index of different foods.

  24. Diane Says:

    Hi Everyone, I have read all of these comments, getting ready to eat healthy and exercise, need to lose 15 lbs. by 3-10-11, and keep it off. Thanks and keep the comments and encouragement coming.

  25. Nancy Says:

    Suzanne Somers “Somersize” has a similar concept for food-combining. She mentions in her book that due to different saliva glands, we should eat fruit either 45 min after or 45 earlier (not sure about the time) depending on if our are eating a protein meal or carbs meal – fruit should always be eaten separatly, never combined, not even in cereal, because it needs to digest on its own. I have gone to an Holistic doctor and she says the same thing. I also am anxious to try this new lifestyle and I am encourged by this information. I like weight watchers but it’s limting and time consuming – you have much more flexibility, it seems to this one and makes sense!

  26. Gwen Says:

    Hi everyone, I am a 60 year old young grandmother. Over the past ten years my weight has been up n down, but mostly off the charts. I have read all of your comments and I am very excited to get started on this new path for my life. I know weight loss is easy for young people, and while I am young at heart. The reality is that I am 60, and things don’t work the same. However, it worked for Lanna’s mom, it could work for me. I am willing to try, and I will give it my all.

  27. Brenda Says:

    Just reading all the comments. Thanks Ladies for sharing. I just order the book Diet Free For Life by Robert Ferguson, can’t wait to get started on this. I have tried everything and wow this sounds like it is gonna be easy to do. Hoping I can inspire my husband to try this too, he needs to get that blood sugar under control. Can’t wait for the book to arive, going shopping in the AM to get some of the things mentioned on your lists.

  28. Gorgonio Says:

    Well okay I’m not sure how to say this but I love this one very unhealthy snakc called Hot Cheetos. I know its very bad for me but if I don’t have some atleast once I week I find myself eating a whole bunch of sugary stuff. My question is, is there anyway to incorporate this snack into this 1:1:1 plan?

  29. Lizzy Says:

    Hi, I just have 1 question, I’m seeing that one person saying that most FRUITS are FAST carbs. Then I’m seeing it being called slow carbs? Can you tell me which is it or if it BOTH? I would like to know the difference. Thanks.

  30. Leslie Says:

    Samantha, oranges are not a slow carbs, oranges will spike your blood sugar sky high, so remember if your looking for fruit for slow carbs, eat berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries. As long as you only eat 5 or 6 slices of apple that will work also. Since becoming a diabetic I’m learning about the good carbs and bad, but I’ve also been told your body does need some carbs. So that’s where the 1.1.1 plan works great, you eat a slow carb a fast carb and a protein. You can eat all the protein you want and it will not effect your blood sugar.

  31. Julie Says:

    Tim ferris was on Dr Oz this week. He put a book called The 4 Hour Body. Very good book with a lot of science backing his theories. He allows for 1 cheat day every week, with NO limits. His book is based more on the slow carbs and excludes anything white. I’m 1 week in and down 8 lbs. I feel full of energy and happy. He also has an exercise program in the book that doesn’t take long to do.

  32. Caroline Says:

    Hi everyone, I am starting on month 2 of the Atkins diet. I have lost 8 pounds so far. I find this program a little difficult due to limited carbs. My sister is on a program like the 1.1.1 and she has lost 24 pounds in about 5 weeks (she is also 9 years younger). So I think that I will start adding a little fast carbs into the Atkins diet and see where it takes me. I do know that I have more energy with the limited fast carbs. So the GI measurement must really work. I just need to regulate and balance mine. Blessings to everyone on your weight loss journey.

  33. Bj WrayG Says:

    I have been on weight watchers and tried to stick with the program because I am a type 2 diabetic, but I have found that my blood sugar spikes and there is no consistency. As of today, I am going to try the 1.1.1, hopefully it will be the program that will at last let me lose the 50 lbs I need and get off medicines that I don’t need. Thanks to all the Comments and God Bless!

  34. Stephanie K. Says:

    How critical is the 1:1:1 ratio in terms of proportion size? i.e. a turkey burger on a bun with a salad and mac and cheese is technically 1:1:3 right? or 2:1:3 if you count the cheese in the mac? Just want to make sure I’m getting it right.

  35. Sonic98 Says:

    When we’re talking about this 1:1:1 ratio is this how many things you eat or are we talking about a food weight or calorie ratio? If I eat a 7 oz steak, do both my carbs need to be about 7 oz. a piece as well. As far as people who want a list or an easy way to know. Isn’t this like anyone else in nutrition or dieting? It’s just like counting calories. After enough time and experience don’t you just know or can kinda figure it out as you work on your plan a while? Simple help would be nice. I read the article How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days. I’ll check out ideas from Food Lovers too. Because I don’t plan on doing things like only eating egg whites or only ever drinking water, tea, and veggie juice. I still want my fruit juice and maybe a lil kool-aid a couple days a week. I can stay away from the corn syrup fruit juices, but I plan to at least have a cup of V8 Fusion each day and OJ with breakfast.

  36. Melanye Says:

    I just started working with a personal trainer last week and I’m on the 1:1:1 plan for almost every meal except the last one of the day and then it’s 1 or 2 protein and 2 slow carbs. One thing he told me is that for every pound of weight I want to lose, I need to drink at least 1oz of water… now this doesn’t mean that if you’re only trying to lose 20lbs, you should only be drinking 20oz of water. If you’re only looking to lose a little weight, you should still drink your 64oz of water a day. My days usually start like this: as soon as I wake up, I drink 8oz of water. Then I have a protein shake. I got a Vanilla Cream one from GNC that has whey and casine in it, but no added sugars. One scoop of powder, plus 6-8oz of water (not counted in your daily consumption) and I can add 1/2 tsp of honey, 1tsp of peanut butter (natural), 1/2 a banana, or a 1/2cup of berries. Now, I add both the 1/2 banana and 1/2 cup of berries, but it makes for a very drinkable shake that can be substituted for a meal at other times of the day.

    90 minutes after my shake, I eat oatmeal. I’ve been using the Oatmeal Revolutions (contains flaxseed, which is good for you) and is great for traveling with because the pouch can be used as a measuring cup. To that, I can add as much cinnamon as I want, plus a packet of honey, 1/2 tsp raw or brown sugar, and then a 1/2 cup of berries. I’m finding that adding cinnamon to it with some blackberries or raspberries (about 7 or 8 large berries is a serving, but you can just measure it out), and a 1/2 tsp of honey makes it sweet enough that I don’t have to add anything else to it and is enjoyable. After that, I eat a 1:1:1 meal every 2-3 hours. Each item: protein, fast carb, slow carb should be a normal portion, i.e. meat should be about 4oz or the size of a deck of playing cards. One of my meals might be a serving of cottage cheese (low or non-fat, which is your protein), peaches, and berries. That’s a 1:1:1.

    I can add any kind of herbs or seasonings to the proteins that I want. Mrs. Dash makes some great no salt added seasoning blends that work great on your meats, especially tilapia and chicken. I also squeeze, about halfway through cooking, a little lemon or lime juice over the meat. That really adds a bit of flavor to what I’m having. Condiments are to be used sparingly except for mustard. Wishbone has a new Ranch Vinegarette that I’m thinking about trying. Then, like I said earlier, my last meal of the day is usually 2 protein and 2 slow carbs. So like a hamburger patty, egg, fresh greens and some legumes or berries fill out that quota. Or you can even do a large chicken breast (or two small ones) in a salad. As long as you have something in the salad besides lettuce, you’ll be getting enough vegetables to make the 2 slow carbs. Just go easy on the salad dressing, even if it is a balsamic vinegarette. Until your metabolism speeds up, sometimes you have to eat to eat. If your 2-3 hours is up and your still not hungry, you have to make yourself eat again. That way, you don’t crash your sugar levels and can avoid temptations. I started last Wednesday and drink 100oz of water a day, plus my meals and everything else. I workout 6 days a week, plus go to karate at least 2x a week. I can already feel the difference in how I sleep and feel the next day.

  37. Monica Says:

    Does this diet work for someone whom has hypothyroidism?

  38. Lori Says:

    I, too, was on Weight Watchers, and with Type II Diabetes, it is not the best plan for me. My doctor sent me to a Nutrionist, and she recommended the Food Lovers Fat Loss Program because it comes with all the books and a some workout CDs too. She is putting me on the 1:1:1 ratio diet, which is this program ~ so I am looking for good things to come my way!

  39. Sonic98 Says:

    Has anyone ever compared The Food Lovers Proggram to the Diet Solution?

  40. Stef Says:

    This food lovers program, do you know if they sell the receipe books separately.

  41. lisa 52 Says:

    I’m looking for a list of carbohydrates by their fast or slow values? Can anyone help me?

  42. Dar Says:

    I am looking for a list of SLOW CARBS AND FAST CARBS does anyone know where i can find a list. Please

  43. Laura Says:

    The FOOD LOVERS FAT LOSS SYSTEM is exactly what all this fast and slow carb diet is about. You can get this for $120 plus shipping and tax, but it will be worth it being as it explains fast and slow carbs to you and how to make a fat loss fat including a protein, fast carb and slow carb. It has cook books, list of these different carbs, a snack guide, a list of different resturants and what you can eat at them, an exercise dvd, and much more. I have no knowledge of all this nutrition, and it is helping me to understand it better. Good luck!

  44. Haylee Says:

    For a list of slow/fast carbs, find a good glycemic index chart. The lower the number the slower the carb.

  45. Maria Says:

    Hey everyone, I’ve read all your comments truly believe this can really work. I’m going to try this 1:1:1 ratio plan, and hope to lose 4 pant sizes. I read Haylee’s comment and searched for a good glycemic index chart, but my problem was i didn’t know from what number to what number are fast carbs, slow carbs, and or proteins.

  46. Brandy Says:

    Hi everyone I was wondering if for lunch plain tuna, 1 tsp of mayo and a few dill pickles with a few crackers is that a slow carb, fast carb and a protein?

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