Good Versus Bad Carbohydrates: What Are The Health Differences Between Them And Why?

Carbohydrates, or ‘carbs’, are an essential part of our diets and is a primary energy generating source for our body. Found in most foods that we consume, just like good and bad cholesterol, there is also such a thing as good and bad carbohydrates, that easily shift the balance in our diets from healthy to unhealthy, depending on which ones we consume.

After scientifically experimenting with carbs, the results showed how the chemical composition of each carbohydrate affects the body. To put it in layman’s terms, complex carbs are good, while simple carbs are bad. Although it does not account for other determining factors, the higher the sugar and lower the fiber in any food, the worse that food is as a carbohydrate for your body.

1. (GOOD) Complex Carbohydrates


Found in foods such as, greens, legumes, and whole grains, which take the body time to break them down for conversion to energy and usage. Since they have long sugar molecules, they give

the body an even level of energy and not immense amounts at one go and then zap you out. So, do amp up your diet with complex carbs.

2. (BAD) Simple Carbohydrates


Found in white rice, white bread, white pasta, cookies, candy, sugar, syrups, cakes, soda, and confectioneries, they are comparatively easy to digest, but it’s basic sugar content hold no real value for the body. It gives the body a peak of energy and after it runs its course, you will feel lethargic, tired, and listless. So, make sure to remove or keep simple carbs to a minimum in your diet.

3. (50-50) The Middle Ground Or Confusing Carbs


These are the carbs that contain the characteristics of one type of carb but are processed by the body like the opposite carb. For example, potatoes are complex carbs but the body processes them

like simple carbs, making them bad in huge amounts. Those veggies and fruits are simple carbohydrates in nature, because of their basic sugar content, but what sets them apart from other bad or simple carbs is that they are rich in fiber, so the body naturally digests them slowly, like it would for complex carbs.

4. The Glycemic Load Determinant


One way to understand how healthy carbs are is by looking at their glycemic load value. The glycemic value of any food explains how fast and high your blood sugar will rise after eating any carbohydrate containing food. Foods with a lower glycemic index, which are most complex carbs, are said to be healthier for your body, as they leave you feeling full for longer hours after eating them. Your body also releases lesser amounts of sugar, at a consistent or stable rate, for all day sustainability, without those sudden rises and falls.

Here are some examples of complex and simple carbs categorized

by their glycemic index. For example, the simple carbs like white rice have 64, as their index, while, brown rice has 55. Corn flakes have about 81, while 100% whole grains or bran cereals have an index of 38.

However, some tricksters to this index are those foods which have a low carb content, but still have a high glycemic index, so indefinitely they won’t have much of an impact on your body either, making them low-carb foods or low-effort for your body to digest but still good for you. A perfect example of this would be watermelons, which have a high glycemic index but low amounts of carbs, because it has lots of water and some sugars.

5. How To Get Your Carb On


Although having some simple carbs every now and then is harmless, it may be wiser to have complex carbs be the dominant carb in your general diet. It’s quite easy to pick the right carbs for a healthy

diet and body, all you have to do is know the alternatives to simple carbs.

Buying dinner out or cooking dinner at home? Instead of going for white rice, pick brown rice instead or grab the whole-wheat pasta at the supermarket instead of white pasta.

If you really want to be sure, take a look at the labels of packaged food, for example, if the ingredients contain anything like whole-wheat flour or whole-oat flour, then it is complex carbs by default.