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Good Carbs, Bad Carbs

Good Carbs, Bad Carbs…The Twenty Percent Rule!

Good Carbs, Bad Carbs…The Twenty Percent Rule!

How do you determine if a carbohydrate is deemed “fit for consumption?”

“The 20% Rule” is your answer.

Since not all carbohydrates cause blood glucose levels to rise in the same way, it is recommended to avoid eating anything where sugar is greater than 20% of the total carbohydrates.

DO NOT look at the percent daily values (% Daily Value) listed on labels (usually the column of numbers on the far right) as these only illustrate what percentage of a 2000 calorie diet a particular food represents.

To follow the 20% Rule, all you need to do is:

  1. look at the line listing the Total Carbohydrates & see how many grams are listed. This is easy to find as it usually is listed in bold black letters.
  2. You then figure out Twenty Percent (20%) of that number & check it against the grams of sugar.
  3. If the grams of sugar are greater than the number you just calculated, this is a food to be avoided.

As an example, let’s look at an English muffin where the Total Carbohydrates are 31 grams.The easiest way to calculate 20% is to first calculate 10% (all you have to do is move the decimal point one space to the left) & double that number.

Ten percent of 31 would be 3.1, so twenty percent would be 6.2.

When we read our English muffin label & find out it has 2 grams of sugar, since 2 is less than or smaller than 6.2, the English muffin would be a great food choice. It’s that simple!

On the other hand, one cup of orange juice has 29 grams of Total Carbohydrates & 28g of sugar. No need to even do the math, no matter how “natural” it may be, orange juice is NOT a good choice thanks to the 20% rule.

NOTE:  Only apply this rule when deciding if a carbohydrate is a good food choice.

Exempt from this rule would be milk & dairy products such as cottage cheese as the sugar they contain is lactose, which is a complex sugar. Unfortunately, soy milk, unless the unsweetened type, always fails the 20% rule because of its high sugar content.

Next time you go grocery shopping, be sure to read the labels & use The 20% Rule.

© 2020 Lucho Crisalle, CEO, Exercise & Nutrition Works, Inc.

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