The Difference Between Good and Bad Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates (carbs) are a vital element of a sensible diet plan, but there is much debate about “good” and “bad” carbs. So, how can you tell them apart?
Carbs can be categorised as simple (i.e. “bad”) or complex (i.e. “good”) depending on their chemical structure and how your body processes them.
Complex carbs, like legumes and whole-grains, have longer sugar molecule chains and these normally require more time to be broken down and used in the body. Consequently, these carbs generally provide you with more sustained energy levels.
Simple carbs are comprised of easily digested, basic sugars which do not contain much real value for the body. If a carb is low in fibre and high in sugar, then it is not likely to be very good for you.
Surprisingly, fruits and veggies are classed as simple carbs. However, they are dramatically different from other foodstuffs in this category, like cakes and cookies. The fibre in veggies and fruits alters the body’s method of processing sugar and slows down its’ digestion. This actually makes them more akin to complex carbs.
The simple carbs you should cut down on the most in your diet are:
- Artificial syrups
- White bread, white pasta and white rice
- Potatoes (which are complex carbs technically speaking, but behave like simple carbs inside the body)
- Desserts and pastries
You can still eat simple carbs occasionally, you should just not have them as your main source of carbs. You can also make better simple carb choices, like eating a baked potato instead of chips.
Complex carbs are “good” because of the longer sugar molecules they consist of which take the body longer to break down. They usually have a reduced glycemic load, which means lower quantities of sugar will be released more consistently and this will give you energy throughout the day.
Choosing complex carbs means looking at the labels before buying your food so you know precisely what you are getting. If the ingredient listed first is whole wheat flour, then it is probably a complex carbohydrate. Buy whole-wheat pasta rather than plain white pasta and brown rice rather than white rice.
Ultimately, you just need to be sensible with your choice of carbs. Avoid low-nutrient desserts, examine the fibre and sugar levels in carbs and concentrate on veggies, fruits and healthy whole-grains to give your body the energy it needs each day.
Diet Tablets To Control Carb Intake
There are a number of diet tablets available commercially that can prevent the absorption of bad carbs. These are known as Carb Blockers.
Perhaps the best example of a carb blocker is Meratol – Meratol can prevent approximately 80% of carbohydrate absorption.
More about Meratol