Carbohydrates are important sources of energy that we need to perform our activities. Carbohydrates are of two types, depending on how fast they get digested and how they affect one’s blood sugar level. One is fast or simple carbs and the other one is complex or slow carbs. Fast or simple carbs are also known as fast-acting carbohydrates. Fast carbs contain simple sugar that gets easily digested or absorbed by the body. Fast carbs cause rise in blood sugar levels quickly. Quick rise in blood sugar level is associated with numerous health issues. Fast carbs are reputed to be less healthy than slow carbs. Overconsumption of fast carbs can possibly increase risk for diabetes and heart disease, as pointed out in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in July 2012. There is glycemic index that ranks carbs in relation to how quickly they get digested and how much they influence blood sugar levels. Slow carbs are ranked lower on the glycemic index and fast carbs are ranked higher on the index. Fast carbs have scores of 70 or above on the index. Generally, processed foods or foods that are high in sugar and low in fiber and other nutrients are fast carbs. It is useful to know the sources fast carbs in order to plan a healthy diet. Below are few types of fast carbs.
Beverages that are sugar-sweetened contain quickly digestible sugars. These beverages lack fat, fiber or protein that could hamper blood sugar spikes. Sports drinks, fruits juice drinks, sodas and energy drinks are among such sugar-sweetened beverages. Just water, unsweetened tea or coffee and hundred percent fruit juices are better than sugar-sweetened beverages. It is good to avoid beverages that have GI (glycemic index) of 68 or above 68.
Refined grains lose their fiber in the process of getting refined, which makes them quickly digestible. GI score of an English muffin is 77. GI score of instant rice is 87. GI score of a French baguette is 95. Refined grains are used in making many breakfast cereals. Some cereals are also fast carbs. GI score can be as high as 92 for corn flakes.
Baked Goods, Sugary Foods and Sweets
Sugary foods, baked goods and sweets are low in nutrients and high in calorie content. These foods are considered fast carbs due to their highly refined grain and sugar content. For example, GI score of cake-type doughnut is 76. GI score of buckwheat pancakes is 102.
Highly processed Foods
Highly processed foods are usually highly digestible and ranked higher on GI scale. For example, GI score of strawberry fruit bars is 90. GI scores of gluten-free corn pasta and mashed potatoes are 78 and 85 respectively. GI score of chocolate-flavored tofu dessert is 115. It is made with high-fructose corn syrup.
Following are lists of fast carb foods along with the category that they belong to.
- Vegetables: Green peas, carrots, sweet potatoes and potatoes are among the fast carbohydrate veggies.
- Fruits: Watermelon, raspberries, plums, pineapple, melon, lychee, lemon, kiwifruit, grapefruit, cranberries, cherry, blueberries, blackcurrants, blackberries and banana are among the fast carbohydrate fruits.
- Grains: White boiled rice, instant rice and breakfast cereals are among the fast carbohydrate grains.
- Snacks: Cookies, white pasta, candy bars, white bread, cakes, chocolate, corn chips, soda crackers, jelly beans, rice cakes, jam, honey and soda are among the fast carbohydrate snacks.
- Dairy: Yogurt with fruit, ice cream and rice milk are among the fast carbohydrate dairy.
Potato, sweet potato, green peas and carrots are fast carb vegetables which provide faster energy. Potato is quick digesting food. But when you take potato with protein or fatty foods then the process of digestion of potato slows down. So if you workouts for some times then don’t take it with protein or fat because at this time you need some quick energy. Sweet potato is also fast carb which contains high fiber. Amazing matter is fiber cannot be turned into calories.
Green peas are full with carb. It also has starch and fiber.Carrots are rich with alpha, bête carotene and fiber as well. It works as an anti aging dose in the body
Fruits such as blackberries, banana, blueberries, cranberries, grapefruit, watermelon all these fruits are quickly turned into energy. Blueberries are low calorie fruit. It contains soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins etc. another berry that is blackberries is rich with fat, protein and dietary fiber.
Grapefruit promotes healthy skin and it affects blood sugar level. It helps to lose weight. If you are heart patient then grapefruit can be a magical fruit to treat your heart problem.
Many people face digestion problem eating fruits and vegetable. For those people whole grain is an alternative for producing quick energy. White boiled rice, breakfast cereal, instant rice etc are easily digestible foods. Breakfast cereal is beneficial for bowel movement, digestion, maintaining balanced health, lower cholesterol.
If you are fond of having small meal and various kinds of snacks then jelly beans chocolate, corn, chips pasta etc. these are very delicious at the same time they are very quick in providing some energy. When you are little hungry and want to have some quick energy try this snacks option.
Beside you can eat dairy foods including ice cream, yoghurt, and rice milk. Some people may face difficulty in digesting dairy foods but if you can digest them, you will feel fresh and energetic within short time.
Merits of fast Carbs
Fast carbs have some positive aspects despite being reputed as less healthier option due to being reason for rise in blood sugar level. Fast carbs are advantageous for muscle builders or athletes that need a quick source of energy after their heavy workouts. In the absence of quick supply of energy after rigorous workout, body starts to break down muscle protein to transform it into energy. Fast carbs or rapid source of energy can prevent that from happening. Fast carbohydrates can prevent loss of muscle and enhance athletic performance.
Depending on who is consuming or how much fast carbs are being consumed, consumption of fast carbs can be either unhealthy or beneficial. Consuming reasonably, in relation to individual physical status and especially in consultation with a dietitian can be useful.
More on Fast Carb:
- What is fast carb?
- Eating fast carb before workouts
- Eating fast carb after workouts
- Mixing fast carb and slow carb
Last update: August 07, 2017 06:40:46 pm