Good and Bad Carbs

Good and Bad Carbs

In the past few years carbs have been called the fear food of new diets but some have also been promoted as a healthful nutrient.
So hardly anybody now knows whether carbs are good or bad. And they are indeed both and it is pretty easy to separate the good from the bad.

Good carbs can help prevent heart disease and cancer and contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are essential to our health.

Bad carbs that have largely been consumed in an attempt to avoid fat are the ones that have resulted in the fattening of so many people. They are the refined carbs where digestion already begins in the factories instead of in our stomachs.

The good carbs are the unrefined ones that are still in their natural state and have not been processed or altered by people or machines and contributed to our health since we began eating. They are found in whole, natural foods like whole grains, legumes, rice and starchy vegetables. Often they are also called complex carbohydrates because of their complex molecular structure.

Besides being packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals the complex or good carbs also take longer to digest, which is good because then spikes in blood sugar levels are avoided.

You find bad refined carbohydrates in packaged, processed foods like store-bought baked goods, crackers, pasta and white bread. They are made with white flour and most of their natural nutrients and fibre are removed. Foods with bad carbohydrates normally are not only low in fibre but also loaded with additives, including colourings, flavourings and preservatives.

The bad or simple carbs, as they are called too, are quickly converted to glucose in our body and that can cause blood sugar spikes. So a high consumption of bad carbs can even contribute to the development of diabetes. But it also leads to a much higher risk of obesity, cancer, heart disease and more.

So to avoid the bad carbs you should always prefer whole grain food to processed food, fruit to sweets and soft drinks and eat as many leafy, green vegetables as you can. You should try to cut out junk food from your diet and eat nuts and seeds as snacks instead of chocolate bars.

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