Good carbs versus bad carbs

Published: December 10, 2020

Complex Carbohydrates aka Good Carbohydrates

What are complex carbs?
Complex carbohydrates (aka Good carbohydrates) are foods that are, more or less, in their natural state. Simply put, good carbs are not processed. They have high fiber content, and are rich in vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. Foods rich in good carbs are not digested rapidly, thus they do not heavily impact our blood sugar levels. Foods rich in good carbs are - vegetables, whole grains, fruits, sweet potatoes, brown rice, lentils and beans.

Simple Carbohydrates aka Bad Carbohydrates

What are simple carbs?
Simple carbohydrates (aka Bad carbobydrates) are usually refined or processed to the extent that their natural nutrients as well as healthy fiber content are removed. They include additives and added preservatives such as flavourings and artificial colourings. Simple carbs are broken down as glucose in the body which leads to a drastic hit in the blood sugar levels. More than necessary consumption of bad (thus the name!) carbs leads to various health consitions such as diabetes. These are processed foods, fruit juices, mostly all white items such as breads, pastas, rice, preserved soft drinks, and white refined sugar.

What makes good carbs ‘good?’
Apart from being rich in dietary fiber and essential nutrients, good carbs help in supplying a steady level of sugar to the body because of the complicated molecules present in them which break down slowly and gradually. This helps in maintaining your energy levels, i.e., your blood sugar level does not rise or fall rapidly. They aid in keeping your blood cholesterol level in check. A diet which is rich in good carbs is more likely to be a calorie-conscious diet thus not adding to the flab of your tummy. Good carbs lead to a stimulation of serotin in the body, a chemical which helps in perking your mood levels and repressing appetite.

What makes bad carbs ‘bad?’
Bad carbs are best avoided because they cause spikes in your blood sugar levels. They trigger the release of insulin which might result in hyperinsulinemia, a condition when your body tends to produce more insulin than needed. They are calorie-rich food items which are full of empty calories. If you consume a lot of bad carbohydrate you are likely to encounter health conditions such as diabetes, heart stroke, obesity, and they have no satiety value to them, thus making you feel hungry sooner than expected.

How can I add good carbs to my diet?
Add more whole grains produce such as fruits, vegetables and brown rice instead of processed food items to your diet. Add healthy snacks to your diet which will keep you full for longer. Add green leafy vegetables to your diet. Add healthy nuts, raisins and healthy sugar substitutes to your diet instead of calorie dense junk. The World Health Organization recommends adding 55-75% of total energy from your daily dietary routine from good carbohydrates, but only 10% from bad carbohydrates.

How can I avoid bad carbs in my diet?
Do not go for cheese and butter laden white bread breakfasts. Instead, opt for low-fat cheese with brown bread completed with a topping of your choice. Do not opt for milkmaid or liquidly processed fruit syrups to add to your bowl of fresh fruits, instead go for honey, jiggery and raisins. Do not go for processed food items. Instead opt for freshly produced, in-season fruits and vegetables. Do not go for white bread, white rice, white pasta, white sugar beyond recommended levels.

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Published December 10, 2020 by in news

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