Most of what we eat is made up out of one of the following three:
All three are essential to our bodies and without them our bodies would not function. Carbohydrates are what keep us energized during the day and gives us the fuel needed to function. Carbs come in many forms, some more recognizable than others such as bread and pasta. But did you know that there are also carbs in fruit and wine? Differentiating between good carbs and bad carbs will help make all of the difference in your diet.
List of Bad Carbohydrate Foods
- Jams and Jellies
- Refined grains such as white rice
- Refined flours such as white bread and pasta
- Cakes and cookies
- Fruit juices and fruit drinks
“Good” carbohydrates on the other hand take longer for the body to process. They don’t make your energy levels spike, but rather give you a longer and more even energy-curve. Whole grains are a good source of complexe carbohydrates as they are take longer to dissolve, and so they give you more energy over a longer period of time.
List of Good Carbohydrate Foods
- Raw or steamed vegetables
- Legumes and beans
- Nuts and seeds (ex: sunflower)
- Whole grain breads
- Dark breads such as rye
- Fresh fruit
- Low fat diary items
Carbohydrates are essentially sugars that are broken down by our bodies and give us fuel. So why do you always hear about low carbohydrate diets? Since carbs are sugars and eating a lot of sugar can be counter-productive to a diet, carbohydrates have gotten a bad rep.
Carbohydrates are a diverse food group, and there are some that are very healthy as well as some that are packed with calories.
Usually there is a distinction between “good” carbohydrates and “bad” carbohydrates. This distinction is based on the rate at which the body can break down and process the carbohydrates in your food.
Eating a spoon full of sugar (packed full of fast or “bad” carbohydrates) will give you a short spike of energy. Which is great if you’re about to go for a run and need the energy (although we suggest eating a protein bar and not a spoonful of sugar). But if you don’t use up that energy it turns into excess energy, which the body puts in fat storage and that turns into love handles.
Carbohydrates are in most of the foods we eat every day. Bread, potatoes, pasta, and rice, are all carbohydrate rich foods. If you’re looking for good slow carbohydrates a good rule of thumb is to go with darker foods. Usually, the darker the food the more complex the carbohydrate, and the longer it will keep you full.