Infographic: Good vs. Bad Carbs

  • Over the last 10 years, opinions have ranged wildly on carbohydrates. Some diets promote carbs as healthy; while others shun them. So are carbohydrates good or bad? The short answer is: they’re both.
  • Good carbs are also referred as complex carbohydrates. Their chemical structure and fibers require our bodies to work harder to digest, and energy is released over a longer time.
  • Bad carbs are generally ‘processed’ carb foods that have been stripped of their natural nutrients and fiber to make them more ‘consumer friendly’.
  • Simple carbohydrates are smaller molecules of sugar that are digested quickly into our body. The energy is stored as glycogen in our cells, and if not used immediately gets converted to fat.
  • Carbohydrates are all essentially sugars our body converts to glucose (blood sugar) which is stored for energy. The glycemic Index measures how much a particular food raises your blood sugar level when you eat it.
  • Low Glycemic Index foods are digested and absorbed slower which produces a gradual rise in blood sugar. They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger.
  • High Glycemic Index foods are quickly digested and absorbed. This rapid fluctuation in blood sugar level has often been called sugar crash, which leaves you feeling tired and hungry faster.
  • Carbohydrates are not just bread, rice or pasta – all of the following foods of carbohydrates: breads and cereals, rice and pastas, nuts and seeds, vegetables and fruits, milk and dairy, juice and soda, deserts and candy.
  • For the most part, good carbs are in their ‘natural’ state – or very close to it (including whole-grain breads, cereals and pastas).

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