Carbohydrate is a bio molecule that contains Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen, which is broken down by our body to release energy. Carbohydrates are one of the main type of macro nutrient along with Fat and Protein. Carbohydrates are converted to glucose (blood sugar), which is used by cells, tissues and organs as source of energy.
Carbohydrates in general have a bad reputation and plethora of myths when it comes to weight loss and fitness, but they are just myths and misconceptions. Let us see in detail about Carbohydrates, the good vs bad and the choice you should make everyday.
Good Carbohydrates or Complex Carbs
Good carbohydrates also referred to as complex carbohydrates, starches or long chains of glucose molecules, their chemical composition and fiber content requires our body to work harder to digest and energy is released over a longer time.
To be simple Good Carbohydrates for the most part that is in it’s natural state with fibers, like whole grains, green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits and cereals.
Why are they called Good Carbohydrates?
- High in fiber and nutrients, low glycemic index, help you feel full with fewer calories and naturally stimulates metabolism.
Bad Carbohydrates or Simple Carbs
Simple Carbohydrates are smaller molecules or simple sugar that is easily digested and absorbed by the body, the energy is stored as glycogen in our cells, and if not used it is converted to fat.
Bad Carbohydrates are usually processed carbs found in foods stripped of their fiber and essential nutrients to make them consumer friendly like candies, desserts, soda, bread made from refined flours and sweetened cereals.
Why are they called Bad Carbohydrates?
- Low in fiber and nutrients, high glycemic index, empty calories and converted to fat, high blood glucose also makes you tired.
The Glycemic Index
Carbohydrates are essentially sugars, our body converts to glucose( blood sugar ), which is stored for energy. The Glycemic index how much a particular food raises your blood sugar level when you eat it.
High Glycemic Index = Bad Carbs
High GI foods are quickly digested and absorbed, this rapid fluctuation in blood sugar is often called as sugar crash, which makes you tired and feel hungry faster.
Low Glycemic Index = Good Carbs
Low GI foods are digested and absorbed slower, which produces a gradual rise in blood sugar, they help in control weight and appetite and delay hunger.
One of the best ways to improve your diet and health is to choose healthier carbohydrates, here is a helpful carbohydrate guide to help you choose and swap the bad carbohydrates with good one.
Finally, choosing between Good Carbs and Bad Carbs can really make a difference, which would you choose?