Best Carbs

Choosing Smart Carbohydrates

If you're designing your fat loss diet – or looking for information on building lean muscle mass – one nutrient that you may be feeling slightly confused over is that of carbohydrates. How many should you eat—or should you eat any at all?

When it comes to fat loss especially, carbohydrates tend to get a bad rap. Everyone is cutting them out of their diet plan, thinking that by banishing carbs, they'll see faster fat loss success.

But is that the case?

The fact is that carbohydrates are vital for optimal results because they not only supply your body with a number of nutrients that you need, but they also help to provide energy for your workout sessions.

This said, not all carbohydrates are created equally, so it's helpful to know which to eat and which to avoid.

Let's go over what you need to know.

Best CarbsSource: Positivemed.com

Complex Carbohydrates

First we need to talk about the complex carbohydrates on your diet plan. These are the more energy dense carbohydrate sources, which will also help to keep you energized throughout the day. They do contain more calories, however, so portion control will be a must, especially if you're seeking fat loss.

Try and eat these earlier on in the day when you need more energy to get through your day-to-day activities, as well as right before and after exercise.

When selecting complex carbohydrates, choose ones that are as unprocessed as possible. This includes carbohydrates such as quinoa, barley, brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and millet.

These will keep your blood glucose levels stable over time.

Fibrous Carbohydrates

Next, you should also be making sure to take in a high amount of fibrous carbohydrates each day. These are very low calorie carbohydrates that you almost don't even have to count because they won't amount to much.

They're also packed with nutrients, so are key to optimizing your health state.

This category includes all vegetables, so go crazy eating as many as you want. With the exception of peas, corn, and carrots, which are slightly higher in natural sugars, these are freebies on your diet plan.

Speaking of fruits, fruits can also be consumed; however, take note that they do contain more sugar and calories, so you will have to add them to your total calorie intake for the day.

The sugars found in them are natural, however, so can be a great addition to your diet plan, and are full of nutrients as well.

Your Hit-List

Finally, we come to the carbohydrate sources that you'll want to avoid. This includes all forms of processed carbohydrates along with the typical junk foods that most people should already know to avoid.

Cakes, cookies, crackers, sweets, chocolate, chips, candy, soda, and so on—all are on this list. Processed cereals and snack foods are also included, so avoid eating those as much as you can.

When it comes to carbohydrate selection, a golden rule to use is to ask yourself how many ingredients it contains. The best choices for carbohydrates are the ones that won't contain more than a single ingredient, so that is what you want to be looking for.

If you follow these rules as you go about adding carbohydrates into your diet plan, you can feel confident that you are making smart choices, and that carbohydrates will not hinder your fat loss progress.

Also keep in mind that if your goal is to build muscle, you'll still want to eat the same types of carbohydrates, but will want to eat even more complex carbs since your total energy needs will be greater as well.