How many times have you heard the terms “carbohydrates” and “bad” in the same sentence? You’ve probably lost count of it by now because in recent times low carb diets and fads have made carbohydrates out to be the enemy. While they aren’t completely wrong, they very conveniently forget to talk about the benefits of the good carbohydrates. But before we delve into the good and bad, let’s take a minute to understand what carbs really are and how they benefit us.
Like protein and fat, carbohydrates are an extremely important source of energy for the entire body. Irrespective of whether you work out or not, your body must consume a certain amount of carbs per day to sustain itself and perform all of its daily tasks (that most of us take for granted today).
Now that you’ve understood why your body needs carbs, you need to understand which one it needs. There are two types of carbohydrates – simple (bad dudes) and complex (good guys). Simple carbs are high in sugar and low in fiber that add on calories without any serious benefits. Avoid them even if you’re not on a diet because they pump you up with empty calories. However fruits - that contain natural sugar called fructose - are good for you as they are provide valuable minerals and nutrients without an excessive amount of calories. In short try avoiding all man-made simple carbohydrates.
Complex carbs on the other had are rich in fiber (that promote healthy bowel movement) and are a constant source of energy for your body throughout the day. People looking to go on a diet should turn to complex carbs simply because they fill you up a lot faster thanks to their high content of fiber, making sure you consume less throughout the day. Not to mention the fact that they’re a constant supply of minerals and vitamins as well.
Now that you know which carbs to consume and which ones to avoid, here are a few basic examples of good and bad carbs:
Whole wheat Pasta/Macaroni/Spaghetti
Whole wheat bread
Sweet Potatoes (Yam)
All bran products like Wheetabix etc.
And pretty much everything sinful you love eating.