What Are Good Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates have received a lot of bad press in recent years. The fad of low carbohydrate diets has convinced many people that all carbs are bad for a person to consume. However, this is simply not true. Carbohydrates are an important component of a healthy and balanced diet. In fact, people can and do lose weight without cutting carbohydrates from their diets. Here is a look at the different types of carbs and the role that carbohydrates play in bodily function.

Energy Giver

Carbohydrates are used by the body to create blood glucose. Blood glucose is often referred to as ‘blood sugar’ or simply ‘sugar’. The body uses this blood glucose to provide energy to the muscles and to the brain. Simply put, blood glucose is needed to keep a person moving and thinking.

There are two different types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. These two types of carbohydrates are also referred to these as good (complex) and bad (simple) carbohydrates. Simple, or bad carbohydrates, are easily broken down by the body and converted to blood glucose. Complex, or good carbohydrates, take more time to digest and it takes the body longer to convert complex carbohydrates into blood glucose.

beans contain good complex carbs

Examples of simple carbohydrates are found in soda pop and white bread, while complex carbohydrates are found in beans and whole grain foods.

Fruits and Carbohydrates

However, the labels ‘good’ and ‘bad’ carbohydrates are somewhat misleading. While a person should eat a diet that emphasizes good carbs, foods containing bad carbs should not be completely eliminated.

Many fruits such as grapes and strawberries contain bad carbs, but these foods also provide a number of other nutrients that are beneficial to human health. However, some carbohydrates can be truly considered bad. Processed foods and foods loaded with refined sugars are high in bad carbs with little additional nutritional value.

Source of Fiber

Fiber is another reason that people need to consume carbohydrates. Fiber is found in foods such as apples and beans along with carbohydrates. Fiber is not digested by the body, but rather helps to keep the digestive system working properly. Fiber is also useful for helping a person to feel full after eating. Those who are dieting should eat foods high in fiber to avoid consuming unnecessary calories trying to become full. Fiber has also been found to lower cholesterol levels and decrease the likelihood of developing cancer.

About the Author: Cat is a freelance writer and writes about skin disorders such as eczema, beauty, health and diet.

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