How To Recognise Good Carbs and Bad Carbs To Lose Weight Easily

You cannot go far in researching about diet programs without running into the debate about good carbs and bad carbs. Some people say that carbs should be avoided because they make you fat and increase the calories in your body.

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good carbs and bad carbs

Others, however, insist that you need carbs because of their nutrients and provide the energy your body needs to work out and get in shape. Actually, there is truth in both statements, which is why you need to choose the type of carbs you will consume.

What Are Carbs?

Carbs are carbohydrates. Consisting of oxygen, hydrogen and carbon atoms, carbs make up a third of the three macronutrients, with fat and protein comprising the other two. Dietary carbs can be divided into the following:

1. Fiber:

Human beings cannot digest this, but fiber provides a lot of health benefits including improved digestion. Fiber also contains bacteria that is good for the body, improves digestion and helps flush toxins out of your body.

2. Starches:

These are long chain glucose molecules that your digestive system turns into glucose.

3. Sugars:

These carbs are short chain carbs found in a lot of foods. Sucrose, glucose, fructose, and lactose are good examples. 

To know what are good carbs it is important that you learn the difference between the various carbs and why some are good and others are not.

All carbohydrates have the same goal, and that is producing energy. The majority of carbs are changed into glucose, and it is this glucose that your body uses as energy. These same carbs are also stored as fat, energy reserves just in case your body needs them. Fiber does not work as an energy booster, but it does generate fatty acids which your body turns into energy.

This should tell you why carbs are important for working out, as it functions as your body’s fuel. And if you do not work out, the excess carbs end up as fat. In other words, you need to make sure that your diet not only includes carbs but that they’re the right types.

Whole Carbs Vs Refined Carbs:

good carbs vs bad carbs

Whole carbs contain only natural fiber in the food and are not processed. Whole grains, potatoes, legumes, whole fruit, and vegetables are examples of whole carbs.

Refined carbs no longer have natural fiber and have been processed. White rice, white pasta, white bread, pastries, fruit juices and sugary drinks are examples of refined carbs.

It should be easy to see that whole carbs are healthier, while refined carbs make you vulnerable to diabetes and other diseases.

Refined carbs also make you vulnerable to sudden surges in blood sugar levels. As it goes up your body’s cravings increase as well. You will also be more vulnerable to other ailments that are connected to your blood sugar level. 

Another thing we have to point out is that refined carbs do not have the important nutrients your body needs. These are calories and nothing more so they do not contribute anything if you are trying to lose weight.

Refined carbs full of sugar are the worst in terms of your health as they render you vulnerable to chronic ailments.

Should We Eat Carbs?

That doesn’t mean you should avoid carbs. As was mentioned earlier there are good carbs and bad carbs, and you will benefit from consuming the good or whole grain carbohydrates.
The good carbohydrates mentioned above are good for your health especially whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.

Whole grain carbs should be included in your diet because of the health benefits you will get. These whole carbs reduce your risk of heart attacks and other diseases and it leads to better metabolic health.

The point is whole carbs are good for your body since they are not processed and have the natural nutrients intact. That is not the case with refined carbs since they’re going to make you prone to diseases.

Of course, there is the question of how much carbs you’ll need. The low carbohydrate diet has become very popular, but is it necessary? A low carb diet is not for everyone, but it is good for those who want to lose weight and burn calories.

A low carb diet is often more effective than a low fat diet. If you follow the diet you’re going to lose more weight. A low carb diet also normalizes blood pressure, blood sugar level, and triglycerides. A low carb diet also increases the HDL good cholesterol in your body.

A low carb diet is also effective for those who have type 2 diabetes or other diseases. While low carb diets have benefits, it’s not necessarily ideal for everyone. If you’re in good condition and not suffering from diabetes, you’ll do fine with a regular carb diet. 

The Benefits of Carbohydrates:

To put it simply, your body needs carbs as a source of energy. This is what makes it possible to do your daily activities, exercise, work and do what needs to be done. You can think of carbs as fuel.

You get carbs from the food you consume and your body breaks this down into sugars. This is what your body uses as fuel. This might come as a surprise for some given that sugar has always been associated with weight gain and just being unhealthy. 

benefits of good carbs

However, your body does need sugar to function properly. As long as you stick with the good carbs there should be no problems. Carbohydrates are found in vegetables, legumes, dairy products, milk and other foods. 

Carbs Are Not The Cause of Obesity:

Are carbs good for you? As we have pointed out, there are benefits and drawbacks depending on the carbs you consume. However, it is not true that consuming carbs will make you fat.

Refined, sugary carbs do make you vulnerable to obesity, but as long as you stick to whole carbs there should be no problems with weight.

Blaming all carbs for weight gain is wrong and not supported by any evidence. The problem with diabetes and other diseases started in the late 1970s, but people have been consuming high carb diets long before without suffering any side effects. 

The reason we didn’t hear of these problems before is there were no processed foods then. Even if you’re on a diet full of carbs, it is all right provided they’re not processed and natural. 

Does this mean whole carbs are necessary? Strictly speaking, your body does not carbs, but it not eating them will be a mistake. While your organs do not need carbs to work, it does use ketones as fuel for your body. 

Your body also utilizes the glucose in carbs to provide various health benefits. Furthermore, whole carbs are found in fruits and vegetables that provide a lot of nutrients. So while you don’t need carbohydrates, the benefits will go far in improving your well being.

So while carbs are not essential for your body to function, it’s still a good idea to include them in your diet it’s healthy. Just make sure you stay away from the processed carbs. 

Good Carbs and Bad Carbs: Choosing The Right One

To simplify things, just stick to whole carbs as they’re very nutritious. The majority of these whole carbs are filled with nutrients. On the other hand, refined carbs are refined and don’t have a lot of nutrients.

The general rule is that the if it is a single solid food, this is whole carbs and is healthy.

Healthy Carbs:

good carbs to eat

These are specially arranged molecules, and once your body consumes them they produce the glucose your body requires to function. As your body gets a good dose of sugar, it is turned into energy. The foods listed here are good sources of this energy to keep you going.

Good, whole or complex carbs are rich in fiber and low glycemic index foods. In short, they provide plenty of energy. These healthy foods are also easier to tap so it does not end up as fat.

Because they don’t end up as fat that quickly, you will notice that you won’t gain as much weight as you would with refined carbs. Another reason to take whole carbs is they make your metabolism go faster. These carbs are digested slowly, giving your body time to turn them into energy. 

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    Tubers: These include sweet potatoes and potatoes.
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    Whole Grain: These include brown rice, quinoa, pure oats and also whole grains.
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    Nuts: The best nuts are peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds.
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    Seeds: Pumpkin seeds and chia seeds are the best options.
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    Legumes: The best choices are peas, kidney beans, and lentils.
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    Whole Fruits: Among the best are strawberries, bananas, and apples.
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    Vegetables: All vegetables are nutritious, so eat different types every day.

There are other foods that provide a lot of whole, healthy carbs. 

1. Corn:

Corn is often thought of as being unhealthy. True, processed corn is unhealthy and don’t have a lot of nutrients. However, natural unprocessed corn is whole grain. It is rich in whole carbs, vitamin C, fiber as well as zeaxanthin, lutein and other antioxidants. All of these are good for your body.

2. Bananas:

Bananas are full of vitamins and are ideal as snacks. They are filled with carbs, fiber, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese. You can also benefit if the bananas are a bit unripe as it’s rich in slimming resistant starch.

3. Breakfast Cereal:

Look for cereals that are rich in whole grain. Make sure however that the cereal has whole grains listed among the ingredients and that it has at least 3 grams of fiber. The sugar per serving should not be more than 10 grams.

4. White Potatoes:

White potatoes have 4 grams of fiber, Vitamin C and potassium. Just make certain you don’t remove the skin so you’ll get maximum health benefits.

5. Sourdough Bread:

sourdough bread is another good choice. It is rich in healthy carbs and is also a good source of probiotics. The good bacteria present in this bread is ideal for people who are gluten intolerant. Furthermore, sourdough bread also makes it easier for your body to absorb nutrition.

6. Green Peas:

while its carbs are not as nutritious as the other foods in this list, green peas are also rich in antioxidants.

While these whole carbs are very good, make sure that you limit intake of high sugar fruit, legumes, and whole grains.

Refined Carbs:

Bad or refined carbs are processed. If the food is processed its carbs can no longer be considered natural. These carbs are found in foods which are commercially sold and have little to no nutritional value.

bad carbs list

These carbs are low in fiber and very high in sugar, and they are often found in the list below. Not only are these foods low in quality carbs, but they also contain preservatives and artificial ingredients, coloring, and flavoring. All of these are used to prepare the food and won’t do your health any good.

These foods have high calorie content, which makes it difficult for your body to burn it or use it as energy. That is the reason why they end up as body fat.

Here is a list of bad carbs:

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    Sugary beverages: Soft drinks are the biggest culprit as they’re filled with sweets and just plain unhealthy.
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    Potato chips and French fries: Do not confuse the potato chips with French fries. French fries are unhealthy but whole potatoes are.
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    Chocolates and candies: Stay away from candies and chocolates. If you must have one, just go with dark chocolate.
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    Ice cream: It is hard to find an ice cream that is not high in sugar and fat. While there are some low fat ice creams, most are unhealthy.
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    Cakes, cookies, and pastries: These sweets are filled with refined wheat and should be avoided.
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    White bread: White bread is filled with refined carbs which lack nutrients and won’t do your metabolism any good.
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    Fruit juices: While fruits are healthy, the same cannot be said of fruit juices. Some of them have as much sugar as soft drinks.

Unhealthy carbs are very quick to digest, and this is not good because your body does not have enough time to burn these calories. The fact that these are processed also means fewer nutrients and more artificial elements going in your body.

Refined carbs also have limited fat burning capabilities and their glycemic index is high. Rather than turn them into useful energy, your body just converts them into fat and don’t get used up unless you work out. Even when you exercise, it’s going to be difficult as the fat is harder to remove.

The Glycemic Index:

This is how you tell the difference between the healthy and unhealthy carbs. The index tells you how much and how fast the blood’s glucose level goes up, and the index has an effect on your health and weight management.

White bread, for instance, causes your blood sugar to go up quickly, but the end result is you get tired rapidly and end up wanting to eat again and again. If the glycemic index is low, there is a greater chance of converting the carb into energy. Food that has a high glycemic index will likely remain as fat.

It is for this reason why you need to keep an eye on the glycemic index. This alone will tell you a lot about the food and whether it is good for you or not. 

So what it all comes down is to is that nonprocessed, whole carbs are good for your body. Steer clear of refined, sugary carbs because they are not healthy. That being said, there is no lacking in options as far as carbs are concerned. 

So how much carbs do you need? There is no single right answer because it depends on your physical needs. Personal preference, level of activity, metabolism, gender, and age.

If you need to lose plenty of weight or you are dealing with type 2 diabetes, you have to be careful about the carbohydrates. If you are healthy, however, there should be no worries when it comes to the number of carbs you should eat. Just make sure that it’s whole carbs.

Conclusion

Some people need to consume a good amount of carbs, while others just need a small amount. It really depends on your physiology, weight and the kind of diet and workout you’ll be doing.

What is crucial is that you now know the difference between good carbs and bad carbs and can plan your diet accordingly. With the right approach and mindset, it’ll be easier to gain the benefits without suffering any of the side effects of unhealthy carbs. 

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