What Is The Difference Between Good And Bad Carbohydrates? What Are The Sources Of Each?
Carbohydrates usually get a bad rap, as they are blamed when people gain weight, but are carbs really the cause of weight gain? Are there good carbohydrates?
This may be somewhat true, as there are some bad carbohydrates that cause this. But on the other hand, not all carbohydrates are harmful and bad, as many of them are important because they are turned into fuel for the body, which are good carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are found naturally in plant foods, and these are usually good carbohydrates, also called complex carbohydrates. Good carbohydrates also contribute to a healthy digestive system and metabolic processes.
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As for bad or simple carbohydrates, they are added to processed foods such as starches and sugars, and these bad carbohydrates cause many problems for the body, as they are absorbed into the bloodstream and turned into blood sugar.
In our next lines, we will remind you of the difference between good and bad carbohydrates.
1. Simple (bad) and complex (good) carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are divided into two main categories: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.
Simple (bad) carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are the bad ones, since many essential nutrients have been removed from them. These carbohydrates are also digested very quickly, causing your blood sugar to spike and making you feel hungry faster.
Short-term satiety leads to overeating and weight gain and may contribute to diabetes and high blood pressure. Among the foods that contain simple or bad carbohydrates:
- the pasta.
- white bread.
- Refined dough.
- White Rice.
Complex (good) carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates are the good kind. And they often contain many nutrients, and they usually contain fiber that the body digests slowly, which makes you feel full for a longer period, and slow digestion contributes to a gradual increase in blood sugar instead of raising it quickly, as is the case with bad carbohydrates.
Good sources of carbohydrates are:
- Whole grains.
2. Fiber, starches and sugars.
Carbohydrates are further classified into three categories: fiber , starches and sugars.
They are complex carbohydrates that are not completely broken down during digestion. Instead, it passes through the intestines and helps digest other nutrients.
Also, fiber helps you feel full for longer and prevents overeating. Among the sources rich in fiber:
- Legumes such as lentils, peas and beans.
- Fruits and vegetables with edible seeds or skins.
- Seeds and nuts.
- Whole grains like oats and quinoa.
- brown rice.
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They are complex carbohydrates, which act similarly to fiber. As it is digested slowly, it also provides minerals and vitamins to the body, and good sources of carbohydrates are:
- Legumes, such as peas and beans.
- Vegetables, such as potatoes and corn.
There are two different forms of sugar, natural sugars and added sugars.
Both natural and added sugars are simple carbohydrates, which means that the body digests them very quickly. This also causes a sudden rise in blood sugar.
Fruits also contain sugar, but remember that eating fruits provides the body with sugar, vitamins, minerals and many other important elements. But eating sweets, for example, will only provide the body with sugar.
Some sources of added sugars are:
- Sucrose (table sugar).
- beet sugar.
- corn syrup.
3. The benefits of good carbohydrates.
There are many health benefits of carbohydrates, especially the good ones. It is a fuel for the body, and it also nourishes many organs and systems within the body, such as:
- heart muscles.
- Digestive system.
- the brain.
- Nervous system.
Providing proper and healthy nutrition for these organs contributes to strengthening them, and also contributes to the prevention of diabetes and heart disease.
In addition, excess carbohydrates are stored in the muscles and liver, and if the body does not get its needs at a later time, the stored carbohydrates are used to compensate for the lack of energy.
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A diet that does not contain enough carbohydrates may also cause some health problems, such as:
- Tiredness and fatigue.
- Difficulty and lack of focus.
- constipation .
- Deficiency of minerals and vitamins.
4. How to get good carbs.
You don’t need to be a nutrition expert to know which diets contain healthy carbohydrates. There is an easy way to find out, which is called the Plate Method.
The plate method is an effective way to focus on eating healthy carbohydrates, as it should be:
- Half of your plate is made up of high-fiber, starch-free vegetables.
- A quarter of the plate is made up of starchy foods such as potatoes or fruits.
- The last quarter is made up of lean proteins like eggs or beef.
Ultimately, it can be hard to cut out bad carbs like added sugars. So you can substitute some of these foods instead of leaving them out.
For example, you can drink sparkling water instead of soda. You can also eat whole grain bread instead of white bread. You can also reduce your intake of sugars and sweets.
With a little willpower and effort, you can replace bad carbohydrates with good carbohydrates to ensure a healthy body.