You must have carbohydrates to sustain a healthy body and a healthy life. But it is important to understand that some carbs are better than others as a source of fuel for your brain and body. In my book “Eat This Way and MELT FAT”, I talked about bad carbs and about good, better and best carbs. Today, I want to talk about “complimentary” carbs.

Complimentary carbs are nutrient dense and they take longer to convert their energy (sugar in the form of glucose) for your body to use. Because they release their energy slower, (this means they have a lower glycemic index) your body can maintain a more stable blood sugar level.

This is good because you will have sustained energy over a longer period and your body will have access to smaller “doses” of energy. These smaller doses give you the time to actually utilize the sugar (glucose) thereby preventing an “overdose” and the need to store any excess as fat. Diabetics typically eat these foods to help them regulate spikes in their blood sugar and to help them to be less dependent on insulin.

Better yet, there’s an added bonus when you eat these foods. Because many of them have considerable fiber content, they require more calories to digest. As a result, these complimentary carbs not only give you more sustained energy they also help you to develop a better daily ‘burn” rate (as in calories) and ultimately aid in weight loss. Thus, I call them complimentary foods. They compliment your efforts at maintaining balance and ideal weight. Eating them is what I call complimentary eating.

Space doesn’t allow for a long list of these foods. However, there is a terrific web site at that provides a great deal of information on the glycemic index of foods and provides an extensive list of foods and their glycemic index. When looking at this list of foods, note that the complimentary carbs are those with the lower glycemic index.

So what do you do with this information in real life?

1. Increase your consumption of foods that are low on the glycemic index list (complimentary foods). Cut back on refined flower and processed “diet” foods. More often than not these cause fast (high glycemic index) spikes in blood sugar. Contrary to popular belief, things like rice cakes are not a good source of carbohydrates.

I can hear the objections now that I’ll get from writing that last statement. The big argument will be that a calorie is calorie is a calorie. Sorry, but that is not really the case. There are 6.9 calories in a gram of alcohol and I do not believe my body is going to do the same with those 6.9 calories that it will do with the 8 calories from two grams of lentils. So choose quality carbohydrates – but do eat carbohydrates.

2. Eat more often from your own kitchen. I know I don’t have time either. But face it, life is the stuff that gets in the way of your plans but you plan anyway don’t you? So cook a bunch of complimentary foods and have leftovers if time is a premium. Otherwise, get educated on good carbs and protein and eat prepared meals containing smart choices.

Eating well need not be an exercise in deprivation nor biochemistry. Once you make a few small adjustments and see results it gets easier to make a few more and to be a good judge of choices. Before long these small steps have made a considerable distance and your results will show.

Author's Bio: 

If you’d like more useful information on holistic approaches to weight loss and fitness visit Allan at