Carbohydrates(carbs) are essential and important in the body,they supply glucose that the body needs to funtion properly.they also provide some vitamins,minerals,enzymes and antioxidants that are important for good health.Some people think that consuming carbohydrates mean an automatic gain in weight because of sugar.This is not so,it all depends on the type of carbohydrates that you eat.There are 2 types of carbohydrates,Complex carbohydrates and Simple carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates take more time to breakdown into glucose.They also have low glycemic index which makes them stabilize blood sugar levels and the production of insulin.Glycemic index is the measure of how fast and how much a food increases blood sugar levels.The complex carbohydrates are the good carbohydrates,they have high fiber which provides energy and lowers cholesterol level,they also have low energy density that gives you the feel of fullness without taking plenty calories.
Simple carbohydrates are made of simple molecules and they breakdown and deliver glucose to the bloodstream quickly.They have high glycemic index and when too much glucose floods the system at once, the body can not use it all for energy ,so it converts excess glucose into glycogen and then into fat for storage. Also,when the body is constantly overwhelmed with high levels of sugar ,it might lead to certain health conditions like diabetes and increased risk of heart diseases.The simple carbohydrates are the bad carbohydrates.
A list of good carbohydrates are
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Whole grain products
- Veggies(these are fibrous carbs) and fruits such as strawberries
list of bad carbohydrates
- White flour
- white bread
- hamburger buns
- High sugar foods
The grains that fall under bad carbohydrates are the grains that lost their B-vitamins,fiber and certain minerals during the refining process,so they now have high glycemic index.Other foods in this category are low in nutrient density,so they supply little amount of nutrient but high calories.
The important message being passed is that you should try as much as possible to get your carbohydrates from good carbs and try to avoid the bad carbs,but this does not mean you should totally forget about the simple carbohydrates.Its just that they should be eaten in moderation.Of course,you can still eat that birthday cake but please eat in moderation,do not do i go chop die.