Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for most of us. Many nutrition experts recommend that we get 60% of our daily energy from carbohydrates. But carbohydrates are not all the same. You need at least a certain amount of carbohydrates to provide fuel for your brain and body. Some carbohydrate sources are healthier than others, however, and knowing the good from the bad can help you make better food choices. There are two types of carbs, the complex carbs on the one side, and simple carbs on the other. The truth is that carbohydrates are everywhere around us, so it’s best to learn how to recognize the good from the bad ones, and try to stay healthy by making better choices.
What are carbs?
Carbohydrates are sugars that break down inside the body to create glucose. Glucose is moved around the body in the blood and is the primary source of energy for the brain, muscles, and other essential cells. If they have high glycemic levels, then they tend to raise your blood sugar levels, and make you feel tired and hungry faster.
The best types of carbs are those foods that are unprocessed and consumed in their “natural” state. Good carbohydrates provide your body with vitamins; minerals and antioxidants that help combat cell damage by eliminating free radicals in your body. Eating the right type of carbohydrates can increase your energy and help you lose weight. Good carbs also stimulate your metabolism which helps you burn more calories, even when you are not exercising. High fibre carbohydrates will provide long-lasting energy, lower your cholesterol and also help remove waste from your body. Good carbs can help you avoid chronic health problems such as diabetes and obesity.
Good carbohydrates: Vegetables, fresh fruits, oats and oatmeal, seeds, nuts, beans, whole grains cereals etc.
Why are they good?
High in fibre and nutrients
Help you feel full with fewer calories
Naturally stimulate metabolism
Bad carbs can lead to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol and even cancer. You will find bad carbs in highly processed, convenience foods. They are low in nutrients and fibers, because they are stripped of their nutrients in order to get more consumer friendly. Highly processed carbohydrates and foods that contain processed sugar, corn syrup and white flour are difficult to digest. They are mostly processed carbohydrates that contain empty calories that are converted to fat, having high glycemic levels and elevating blood glucose levels.The fastest and easiest way to cut bad carbs from your diet is to avoid junk food and convenience foods.
Bad Carbohydrates: Soda, candy, sugar, white rice, white bread, white pasta pastries and desserts etc.
Why are they bad?
Low in fibre and nutrients
Empty calories converted into fat
High blood glucose levels =feel tired