There's been a ton of talk lately about what constitutes a high or low Glycaemic Index (GI) score, and refined carbohydrates are among the worst offenders of high scorers, which puts women eating large amounts of them at a high risk for heart disease. Actually, women are twice as likely as those who had the lowest intake of these types of carbs to be diagnosed with heart disease. The same was not observed in men. So, if your man wants meat and potatoes for dinner, you're going to have re-imagine what that will look like for you in the long run. Might I suggest the yam or sweet potato or even certain types of squash with similar potato consistency as an alternative? Their GI scores are considered low. See below.
Glycaemic Index is a measure of how fast a food raises blood sugar compared with the same amount of glucose. When carbs were separated into high- and low glycemic index categories, researchers have found increased intake of high GI foods was significantly associated with greater risk for coronary heart disease while low-glycemic carbs were not. These results came from a test of diets of 15,000 men and 32,000 women, with researchers calculating total consumption of carbs for eight years.
All that being said, can we just have a list of what to do and what not to do? Why, yes!
Over at Glycaemicedge.com, they have put together a list of foods that all have a GI rating. 70+ you'll want to really avoid altogether, 55-69 scores medium, and 0-54 scores low. Of course, white bread, potatoes, white rice, and sugary cereals are some of the worst offenders, and white bread was so offensive that this high GI problem has been coined with the term "White Bread Heart Disease"; however, don't feel like you have to cast away bread forever... whole grain breads got a "low" score. Even most pastas, especially the wheat variety, remained fairly medium to low (phew!). Here's another list of other foods over at South Beach Diet.
Generally, carbohydrates are not totally essential to the human diet... apparently the body can obtain all its energy from protein and fats, that is, except for the brain. The most important carbohydrate for the brain is glucose, a simple sugar that is metabolized by most all known organisms. Obviously, there are good and bad ones. Good ones are good for learning, memory, and general brain function.
Good: beans, nuts and seeds, celery root, rutabagas, leafy green veggies, artichokes, asparagus, pumpkin, cucumber, broccoli, cabbage, leeks, cinnamon, vinegar, tomatoes, fruits such as apples and pears, whole grains, squashes, and scallions.