How to Combine Slow Burning Carbs With Fast Burning Carbs

Slow-burning carbs are foods that take longer to convert to blood sugar and provide you with sustained energy. These foods include whole grains, fresh vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. Fast-burning carbs take little time to convert to blood sugar, and your body uses them quickly. These foods include "white" or refined grains, certain fruits and starchy vegetables such as white potatoes. Your body needs both quick and sustained sources of energy to function properly. When you combine slow-burning carbs with fast-burning carbs you can meet your body's energy needs.

Slow-burning carbs are foods that take longer to convert to blood sugar. (Image: marucyan/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Eat a sandwich made of whole-grain bread. (Image: merznatalia/iStock/Getty Images)

Eat a sandwich. Use a whole-grain bread, which can have a combination of slow- and fast-burning carbohydrates. Add a nut butter, which is a slow-burning carb, with slices of banana, which is a fast-burning one. Also use a white bread, such as pita, and add slow-burning hummus, sun-dried tomatoes and onions.

Step 2

Make a salad. (Image: Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images)

Make a salad. Combine fast-burning corn with slow-burning black beans, onions, bell peppers and cilantro. The beans and corn also make a complete protein. Make a tabouleh salad with bulgur wheat, parsley and lemon juice. Eat a spinach salad with blueberries, strawberries and almonds – a combination that also provides calcium. Your options are limited only by your personal preference.

Step 3

Cook a casserole, soup or stew. (Image: Dar1930/iStock/Getty Images)

Cook a casserole, soup or stew. Combine pearl barley, a refined grain, with vegetables and kidney beans. Make a vegetarian bean chili with rice or serve the chili over pasta. Try a Spanish-style rice with tomato sauce, corn and red beans. As with the salad, your options are limited only by your personal taste.

Step 4

Order a healthy pizza. (Image: Jag_cz/iStock/Getty Images)

Order a pizza. White pizza crust is a fast-burning carb. Add peppers, onions, spinach and any other vegetables for the slow-burning carbs. You also can order your pizza with a whole-wheat crust.

Step 5

Stuff your potatoes. (Image: vikif/iStock/Getty Images)

Stuff your potatoes. Fill a baked white potato with vegetarian bean chili, broccoli and cheese, sautéed peppers and onions or any other combination of beans and vegetables. If you don't like stuffed potatoes, try making home fries with vegetables.

Things You'll Need

  • Bread

  • Nut butter

  • Banana

  • Pita

  • Hummus

  • Sun-dried tomatoes

  • Onions

  • Corn

  • Black beans

  • Bell peppers

  • Bulgur wheat

  • Parsley

  • Lemon juice

  • Spinach

  • Strawberries

  • Blueberries

  • Almonds

  • Pearl barley

  • Kidney beans

  • Rice

  • Red beans

  • Pizza crust

  • Potatoes

  • Broccoli


You have many options for how you can combine slow-burning and fast-burning carbohydrates that it really depends on what you like and want to eat. Just understand that processed, white and sweet foods, such as potatoes and fruits, as well as breads, pastas and cereals, are more likely to be fast-burning carbohydrates. Beans, nuts and most vegetables are more likely to be slow-burning ones.

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