Slow-digesting carbs, fast digesting carbs, complex carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates – oh my! There is a perception out there that carbs are too confusing to understand. I do not think carbs are confusing, but I understand where this perception is coming from.
Take slow-digesting carbs, for example. What are they? When should we eat slow-digesting carbs? Do slow-digesting carbs aid weight loss? These are just some of the questions people ask, so let’s try to figure this out.
There are two ways to go about identifying slow-digesting carbs: an exhaustive list that and no list. I like the latter approach because making the list is too anal-retentive, boring and unnecessary.
So, how would one define slow-digesting carbs? Simply put, slow-digesting carbs can be defined as the type of carbs that do not cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar levels.
The “no-list” list of slow-digesting carbs Generally speaking, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and cultured dairy products contain slow-digesting carbohydrates. Some exceptions are: watermelons, oranges, tangerines, bananas, pineapples, kiwis, beets, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and onions – but I really hate putting these fruits and vegetables on the “exceptions” list.
Why? Because they contain numerous micronutrients that are good for you. True, they also contain more sugar than other fruits and vegetables, but it does not mean they should be avoided.
When should I eat slow-digesting carbs? If you are not trying to lose weight, it does not really matter when you eat, say, a beet salad. If, however, you need to lose weight or you are regularly lifting weights, it is better to eat slow-digesting carbs in evening or prior to your workout.