Carbohydrates are complex, and while it’s true, they get a bad wrap for a reason, learn the difference between healthy carbs and bad carbs.
With the complexity that surrounds carbohydrates these days, here is a detailed look at good carbs vs. bad carbs as a way to know what to avoid.
To understand healthy carbs and bad carbs, it is important to know what carbohydrates are. Here is a list of carbohydrates as acknowledged in nutrition:
- Sugars- they are described as short chained carbohydrates commonly present in foods. They include glucose, galactose, fructose, and sucrose.
- Fibre- they are types of carbohydrates that cannot be digested in humans. However, bacteria present in the digestive tract make use of them.
- Starches- unlike sugars, these are the long chained carbohydrates. They are broken down to form glucose.
Carbohydrates are vital for energy production, among other health benefits. It is important to note that, carbohydrates that are in their natural states are healthier than those that have been refined. In general, whole carbohydrates contain more fibre than refined carbohydrates.
It is largely problematical to address carbohydrates as good carbs and bad carbs, but here is an overview.
List of Good Carbs
- Whole grains: unrefined grains are more nutritious such as brown rice and oats etc.
- Whole fruits: pure unrefined fruits are healthier such as apples etc. A fruit a day goes a long way.
- Vegetables: it is important to have a variety of vegetables every day for health purposes.
- Tubers: they are largely common and include potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc.
- Nuts: there are different types of nuts that are intensely nutritious, such as hazelnuts, macadamia, etc.
- Legumes: these include beans, peas, etc.
- Seeds: they include pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
List of Bad Carbs
- Fruit juices: refined fruit juices may have the same effects as sugar-sweetened beverages, especially on metabolism.
- Deep fried take away: they include French fries. Even though potatoes are healthy, deep fried ones become unhealthy and are rated as bad carbs.
- Baked foods and desserts: these include cakes and pastries. They are considered as bad carbs because they contain a lot of sugar and are baked with refined wheat.
- Sugary drinks: they are considered the unhealthiest carbohydrates. They include Coca-cola, Pepsi, etc.
- Candies, chocolates, and ice-creams: even though there are healthy ice-creams and chocolate, some contain high sugar level unhealthy for the body.
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Individuals who would like to cut on carbs are advised to put into considerations the benefits of good carbs. Healthy carbs such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains should be taken even at a lower portion.
On the other hand, bad carbs should be taken in moderation. However, for individuals on strict health practices should avoid them entirely.
The natural and whole carbohydrates are healthy, especially because of their fibre content. On the other hand, refined and processed carbohydrates may be extremely healthy, especially when overindulged.
Check our website for more information on healthy carbs and what to avoid.