T Nation

Good vs Bad Carbs

So, I got this email recently and thought I’d share it on the beginners’ Forum. It’s a start as one starts to learn about carb intake and timing…

Help! I’ve been reading in a diet book about good vs. bad carbs. How will I know? I’m eating complex carbs like wheat bread now.

General info. on carbohydrates: They are neither “good” nor “bad”. (Although the foods some come that in are less desirable as a staple of one’s intake.)

Fast acting carbs (“high glycemic index”) like white bread, some “wheat breads” or sugary drinks are generally not helpful to physique-conscious persons unless they are consumed during/ after exercise. The term “complex carbs” used to be used interchangeably with “low glycemic index carbs” by some professionals but now we know that “simple” vs. “complex” is not a very valuable distinction.

Search, read and learn as much as you can using a critical eye, okay?

LL

So, then is white bread, for example, only bad when used outside of the peri-workout window AND because it is devoid of nutrients? And the latter can be remedied by more micronutrients, like, an extra serving of broccoli?

I still feel that there are ‘bad’ carbs. White bread looks terrible. I don’t trust baked potatoes either. For some reason this thread confused me more…

[quote]th_underdog wrote:
I don’t trust baked potatoes either. [/quote]

What’s wrong with a baked potato?

[quote]chirag wrote:
th_underdog wrote:
I don’t trust baked potatoes either.

What’s wrong with a baked potato?[/quote]

You just can?t trust them. They are sneaky.

[quote]orion wrote:
chirag wrote:
th_underdog wrote:
I don’t trust baked potatoes either.

What’s wrong with a baked potato?

You just can?t trust them. They are sneaky.[/quote]

That’s a bad carb if I ever saw one. LL, stop spreading this disinformation. I think you just might be under the influence of the carb underworld. Boss carb’s put a hit out on you, maybe?

Spotting a bad carb is easy. Just look for tattoos and gang symbols. Everyone knows that someone with tattoos is evil.

They have a high glycemic index. You are better off eating sweet potatoes which, ironically, have a lower glycemic index.

The book “Sugar Busters” is supposed to have a lot of good info about values of various foods.

[quote]4est wrote:
They have a high glycemic index. You are better off eating sweet potatoe which, ironically, have a lower glycemic index.[/quote]

I thought they found out that some foods that were high on the glycemic index only triggered a low to moderate insuline response, which is why they came up with the insulin index?

And even if potatoes were evil, combine them with enough protein and vegetables and the insulin spike should be moderate. I only worry abour potatoes if they come in the form of potatoe chips or french fries.

[quote]chirag wrote:
th_underdog wrote:
I don’t trust baked potatoes either.

What’s wrong with a baked potato?[/quote]

People get so worked up about good vs. bad carbs, sometimes. If you are bulking (which I believe you still are, chirag) there is absolutely nothing wrong with a nice baked potato.

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1124896784053.potato.jpg

One time I caught a baked potato trying to steal my wallet.

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1124899276121.Mudskipper_teeth.jpg

What about bad protein?

[quote]StevenF wrote:
One time I caught a baked potato trying to steal my wallet. [/quote]

mwuahahahahaha … time for an avatar change, eh?

“you say potato. i say f*ck you”

LMAO!

Bad potato!!

Bad protein!!

it’s true. potatoes are bad news…

my whole family was taken out by rogue potatoes.

bastards…

which is why i cruely poke and stab them with a fork before watching them cook in the microwave.

revenge is delicious.

LOL You guys have a point. Makes me feel like I’m stressing about them for nothing. I wasn’t particularly talking about bulking though. I was thinking more for maintenance or cutting. Would you eat baked potatoes when cutting?

I personally would only eat a baked potato while cutting a sirloin or some prime rib…

[quote]th_underdog wrote:
LOL You guys have a point. Makes me feel like I’m stressing about them for nothing. I wasn’t particularly talking about bulking though. I was thinking more for maintenance or cutting. Would you eat baked potatoes when cutting? [/quote]

I do. Just not as often and not as big.

And not heaped with bacon bits, sour cream, butter, and something that resembles cheese, but only by color.
A plain one might make a good c for a p&c meal though.(steak and taters-mmmm!)

[quote]th_underdog wrote:
LOL You guys have a point. Makes me feel like I’m stressing about them for nothing. I wasn’t particularly talking about bulking though. I was thinking more for maintenance or cutting. Would you eat baked potatoes when cutting? [/quote]

Its just a matter of timing, my friend.

Have it AFTER your workout and it shouldn’t be a problem even when cutting.

I personally love 'em and since I’ve still got around 2+ years of bulking to go (LOL), I shall continue eating them…

For my P + C meal, I usually eat a baked potato with a scoop of Grow! thrown in. YUM!

I like it when potatoes go all anti-American and become french. Serves 'em right that they’re punished for such treason, being fried and all…