A few days ago I was discussing nutrition (I know you can stop acting surprised now) with a buddy of mine and we were going over what my typical day looks like in terms of foods. We got on the topic of fruit and making sure that you are getting in fruit because it is low in calories but high in just about everything else and also helps to keep you hydrated. We really began to discuss bananas and how in carbs this fruit can be. I love bananas and probably eat 3-4 per day. To me the high carb content is offset by everything else that is good for you in a banana.
Of course it couldn’t just end there as the conversation leaned toward good carbs versus bad carbs. The initial discussion was that there was a good v bad carb. The more we discussed it I started to lean in a different direction and that is of a now carb versus a later carb. I have avoided all things white for the longest time that I cannot tell you the last time I had white pasta, a Yukon gold potato or wonder bread. It really has been that long that if I were pressed to name the last meal with any of those items I couldn’t. My palette has developed to the point that I would rather have spaghetti squash instead of pasta (that includes whole wheat), a sweet potato to the starchy white potatoes and rye, whole wheat, sourdough bread to wonder bread.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t think they have a place in your diet, I just think you have to know when you should eat them. I read a while back about Dr Lim (of the Feed Zone Cookbook) providing the riders on his team potatoes in aluminum foil during races. Clearly the idea was to get those fast acting carbs into their system as quickly as possible to help fuel their performance. There are athletes that will eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while on the bike portion of an Ironman race and again it is to get those fast acting carbs in your system as quickly as possible.
We then started to pick out foods that we thought were going to be good cards and those that might be bad carbs. The bad ones we discussed were anything white as listed above, candy and soda. As for the good carbs we pointed to fruit, quinoa, oats and sweet potatoes. After getting home I did a quick trip through the usual sites that I visit to see if there was anything about a good carb or a bad carb. 220 Triathlon magazine actually had a post dedicated to such a thing along with pictures (we like pictures, especially of food.) Here are the items that 220 Triathlon identified as good and bad carbs.
Good Carbs: Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Barley, Apples and Oats
Bad Carbs: White Bread, White Sugar, Double Chocolate Muffin, Sugary Cereals, Doughnuts
You can read why they categorized these foods in this way here.
What Do You Classify As Good And Bad Carbs? Do You Classify?
Lastly, as a follow-up to my post from yesterday regarding Asian dinner Competitor magazine posted a recipe today with an Asian flair to it that looks quite tasty. Find that recipe here.