HEALTH CENTER

strip

Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs: What’s the Difference? by Shana Laborde LVN

The human body uses carbohydrates more effectively for energy than fat and protein.   But is there really a difference when it comes to the type of carbs we should be eating?  Overconsumption of unnatural, highly processed, refined carbs takes a toll on your health.  Foods that contain high amounts of sugar, flour, and potatoes are leading to a health crisis in America such as obesity, heart disease, and cancer.  Many people are unaware of the damage they are doing to themselves by eating low quality, highly processed carbs commonly referred to as “junk food.”   Understanding the difference between “good” carbs and “bad” carbs can make all the difference in how a person looks and feels.

How does a person choose or make the distinction between “good” and “bad” carbs?  It’s pretty simple, unprocessed carbs remain in their natural state or very close to their natural state.  For example, green vegetables are the ultimate “good” carb foods.  Leafy, fibrous vegetables and fruits are considered among the best carbs to eat.   Foods high in fiber help you stay full longer.  Low glycemic carbs help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.  In contrast, “bad” carbs are usually foods like baked goods, snack foods, candies, and foods that contain bleached white flour.  “Bad” carbs are harder for the body to digest, and wreak havoc on our natural hormone levels- especially insulin levels, which lead to dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose levels.  This is one of the major reasons you often feel tired after eating a high-sugar, unhealthy meal.  “Bad” carbs are also full of empty calories, which means there is little to no nutritional value.  It is simply “filler.”  If you eat too many empty calories your body will turn them to extra body fat.

If you are unsure about which foods to avoid, a good rule when shopping is to avoid anything that is boxed, canned, or frozen.   Try to shop the outer aisles of the grocery store.  Many healthy natural foods are kept there.  Avoid the center aisles which usually contain the snack foods, and frozen foods.   We all crave “bad” carbs from time to time so everything in moderation.  Eat clean and get daily exercise and you will feel and look great.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.