Good carbs, bad carbs: making healthy choices this holiday season, from the Harvard Health Letter

Many of the traditional foods of the holiday season—fresh bread, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pie—are packed with carbohydrates. Some carbs cause blood sugar to soar more than others. The glycemic index is a helpful tool for choosing good carbs during the holidays and every day, reports the November 2012 Harvard Health Letter.

Blood sugar and insulin levels rise every time you eat something containing carbohydrates. How high they rise, and how fast, depends on the food. White rice has almost the same effect as eating pure sugar—a quick, high spike in blood sugar and insulin followed by an equally fast drop. Brown rice and other whole grains have slower, smaller effects.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »