The Best Carbs To Eat (According To Research)

Expert validation

Hey, guys, welcome to Be Healthy Be Fit. In this article, I will discuss carbohydrates and talk a little bit about the best sources of carbs in your muscle building and fat burning diet.

Understand What Carbs Are

So when it all comes down to carbs, they are really just sugar. Whether you eat a chocolate bar, whether you eat a piece of fruit, or whether you eat a bowl of rice, it all gets broken down into the simple form of glucose, one way or another. So in that sense, a carbohydrate is a carbohydrate because the end product is ultimately all the same. The only real difference here is in how those carbs are “packaged up.”

Some carbs are going to be found in the high fiber, high vitamin, high mineral, and phytonutrient dense foods like fruits and vegetables and whole grains and potatoes and brown rice, etc. And some are going to be found in less nutritionally-dense, low fiber foods like cookies and cake and so-called junk food.

It’s not the carbohydrates themselves that are the cause for concern. Because remember, it’s ultimately all glucose when it all comes down to carbs. It’s all the “extra stuff” they either do or don’t come with. Fiber matters, vitamins matter, minerals matter, phytonutrients matter. You can’t sit around eating processed, nutritionally void carb sources all day long and get into your best shape because you’re going to miss out on all of those valuable nutrients. 

This is why the bulk of your overall carbohydrate intake should still come from so-called “clean food sources” to make sure that your nutritional needs are being met to optimize your body composition and your gym performance.

Fast Acting Carbs vs. Slow Acting Carbs

Now some people might be wondering about the issue of “fast-acting carbs” versus “slow-acting carbs.” But to put it simply, this is really irrelevant from the perspective of overall fat loss versus fat storage. 

Fast Acting Carbs vs. Slow Acting Carbs

At the end of the day, your net gains or losses in body fat are going to be dictated by your overall net energy consumption versus your net energy expenditure. Not by the speed of the carbs that you consume.

It really makes no difference in the big picture if you consume a fast-acting carbohydrate that ends up being stored as fat more quickly than a slow-acting carbohydrate that provides a steady stream of energy, because even if that fast-acting carb ends up as body fat at a faster rate, since your body can’t use all the energy right away, it will still eventually get broken down and released for energy by your body later on when it is needed.

The important thing to remember is that fat loss is not an “on/off” switch. Fat gain and fat loss are happening all the time simultaneously in your body. So whether your carbs get stored for fat more quickly and are burned later on, or whether they are steadily burned over a longer time as they’re released in the bloodstream ultimately makes no difference at all.

It’s the total energy you consume versus the total energy you expend over time that is going to determine your bottom line fat burning results. 

Also, when you combine so-called fast-acting carbohydrates along with proteins and fats, their absorption rates are significantly reduced anyway, and because of all of the different possible protein, carb, and fat combinations that you’ll be consuming throughout the week, you really have no way of knowing just how quickly those specific carbs are going to be broken down when they are consumed as part of a complete meal. So it’s really not something to even worry about. 

Summery Till Now

Okay, so we’ve established that umber 1, carbohydrates themselves are all broken down into basic glucose. Number 2, the only difference between different carbohydrate sources is the foods they are “packaged up” in, taking into account the amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, etcetera. And number 3, the issue of fast-acting versus slow-acting carbohydrates is ultimately a non-issue when it comes to fat loss because net energy consumption versus net energy expenditure is always going to remain constant and because carbohydrate speeds are significantly altered when they are combined with proteins and fats.

So, given all of this information that we’ve covered so far, what are the best carbohydrates to eat for maximizing fat loss and muscle growth? 

Best Carbs to Eat

Well, it’s actually very simple,. If you’re aiming to lose body fat every week consistently, or you’re looking to gain muscle while minimizing fat gains, just forget everything you’ve ever read about proper carbohydrate intake and just follow these three very simple guidelines instead.

Guideline Number One

Number 1, aim to get at least 80 to 90 percent of your total daily carbohydrate intake from minimally processed, higher fiber sources. 

These foods are going to provide your body with the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients needed to optimize your body composition and your gym performance and while controlling your appetite at the same time. And here’s a very good list of foods that fall into this category.

  1. Oatmeal
  2. Rice
  3. Quinoa
  4. Sweet potato
  5. Yams
  6. Whole grain cereals
  7. Pita
  8. Pasta(multigrain or whole grain)
  9. Fruits
  10. Vegetables

Guideline Number Two

Number 2, of that 80 to 90 percent, get in at least two servings of vegetables and 1 to 2 servings of fruit per day. These are the ultimate in what you call healthy carbs because they’re packed with tons of fiber and micronutrients. 

Any veggies are ultimately going to be fine, but green fibrous vegetables are especially nutritious, and this includes sources like broccoli, lettuce, asparagus, brussels sprouts, kale, green beans, spinach, etcetera.

The same thing holds true for fruits, though berries such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries,, and blackberries are also especially valuable.

Guideline Number Three

And number 3, as long as you’re following guidelines 1 and 2, the remaining 10 to 20 percent of your carbohydrate intake can ultimately come from any foods that you want. 

The idea that you have to eat clean 24 hours a day to reach your fitness goals is pretty much just an outdated and downright misguided method.

As long as the bulk of your carbohydrate intake, so somewhere in the range of about 80 to 90 percent, is coming from high fiber, dense micronutrient sources like the ones we just read up, you can go ahead and fill that remaining 10to 20 percent with the cheat foods of your preference without any negative impact on your results.

Remember, the issue of fast-acting carbs versus slow-acting carbs is irrelevant in terms of your body composition, and since your fiber and your micronutrient needs are already going to be easily met with that other 80 to 90 percent of your carbs, there really no need for concern here. But, of course, if you prefer to eat nothing but 100 percent clean food, you’re free to do that as well.

This is simply an optional third guideline for those who would prefer a more flexible dieting approach. 

Sum Up

So it’s as simple as that. Just get 80 to 90 percent of your total carbohydrate intake from minimally processed, high fiber sources, get in 2 servings of vegetables and 1 to 2 servings of fruit per day, and fill the remaining amount with any carbs of your preference as long as they’re being tracked as part of your overall macronutrient intake. 

This type of approach is going to ensure that your nutritional needs are being met in terms of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, while at the same time giving you the dietary flexibility to enjoy your favorite cheat foods on a consistent basis without hindering your bottom-line results. 

So I hope you found the information in this article lesson useful today. If you did enjoy the article, as always, you could subscribe for FREE to receive the latest article from us. And also, comments down your thoughts.

Also, make sure to grab your free “24/7 Fat Burning Plan“. This includes a free workout plan, meal plan, and supplement guide. Make sure to join the 4limbs – Health, Motivation, & Fitness Facebook page & group for daily articles, videos, tips, & motivation. Well, that’s it for this article. Thank You. 

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Aman Pawar
Aman Pawar is a Certified Diet, Fitness and Nutrition Expert. For more info visit About Us page.


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