There are some carbohydrates that are genuinely good for you and we need in our everyday diet. Some carbohydrates we need to stay away from as they are not good for our bodies.
So, what is the difference?
Carbohydrates are an important Macronutrient and we need them in our diet as they are our main source of energy. However, I keep getting asked which food types should we eat and which ones she would learn to avoid?
Here I want to explain to you how to make the right food choices to give you the energy you need.
So why are carbs bad for you?
Are some carbs good for you?
Good Carbohydrates vs Bad Carbohydrates
The difference between the two can be quite simple as follows: –
- 1. Good Carbohydrates are foods that are in their natural state as in they look like they come from the earth e.g. Tomatoes, not tomato sauce, real Oranges instead of orange juice, Brown rice instead of white rice etc. Stay away from food that is processed and refined as it is easier for your body to digest and use the nutrients to keep us healthy.
- 2. Bad Carbohydrates is any food that is unrecognizable in its truest form. If it does not Run, Swim, or live on the earth and is therefore a processed food, stay away from them. These foods are usually full of added salt, added sugar and completely stripped of any nutrients that may have once existed. Our bodies cannot digest this food and they are extremely unhealthy for us. Therefore, foods that are highly processed in tins, packets etc should be exchanged for food in their truly natural state.
Good Carbohydrates/Fibre are important in our diet and generally have a low calorie, density. They are generally high in lots of nutrients needed to keep our bodies healthy as well as satisfying our hunger.
High in fibre means that we can regulate our blood sugar better as well as our insulin levels and LDL bad cholesterol. This type of food will fill you up so helps with losing weight.
Low in sodium and saturated fat means low cholesterol and trans fats.
Foods in this sector include
Whole Grains – Whole Wheat, Quinoa, Buckwheat
Fibre Rich Fruit – Apples, Berries, Bananas
Fibre Rich Vegetables – Broccoli, Cauliflower, Leafy Greens, Carrots
Beans – Black Beans, Haricot Beans, Soya Beans
Bad Carbohydrates/Simple are a true role reversal in that they are so bad for our health and for anyone looking to lose weight.
High in calorie density and high in refined sugars. High in refined grains such as white flour.
Nutrient empty and low in fibre.
Most of these foods are high in sodium and saturated fat and most often high in trans fats and cholesterol.
Simple Carbohydrates mean simple nutrition. Usually it means that sugars in various forms are added to types of food as part of the processing which changes its nutrition values.
Glucose, Fructose and Sucrose
Fruit Juice Concentrate
Starchy Carbohydrates are needed for our body as they are a main source of energy for our brain and muscles. We often eat far too many starchy foods which are very calorie dense with extraordinarily little nutrient value. What’s more excess starch and sugars are easily converted to fat and will spike blood sugar levels.
Foods that fall into this category are starchy vegetables, grains or flours.
The best type of foods to eat in this sector are wholegrain and higher fibre foods including whole wheat pasta and whole grains, brown rice
How Many Carbohydrates Should We Eat Daily?
The recommended daily allowance is 260 grams for adults.
1 gram of Carbohydrates is about 4 Calories
Carbohydrates breakdown into glucose within the body which is our main source of fuel also known as energy.
Most foods contain some type of carbohydrate as I mentioned above.
To stay healthy, it is important to stay away from simple carbohydrates and revert more to eating more complexed carbohydrates.
Overeating simple carbohydrates can have a dramatic effect on our health and can lead to several risks.
Diabetes Type ll
Is when your body is not producing enough insulin or the insulin that it is producing is not effective.
This leads to blood glucose levels in our body rising which can be very harmful.
Obesity in the UK continues to be on the rise and is mainly due to the food we it. Unfortunately, in the western world we have grown up to it eating more processed type food rather than freshly prepared food.
Most processed food is full of simple carbohydrates which are calorie dense and nutrition low. Therefore, we eat more than we should, and this is how we start to put on the increased weight.
Populations with a high fibre diet have experienced lower levels of bowel cancer than those eating less fibre.
A high blood cholesterol level is associated to Cardiovascular Disease. Some foods that can contribute to this are Milk, Cheese, Pastries, Muffins, Fatty Meats.
However, there are certain complexed carbohydrate foods such as whole grains and resistant starches which have been linked to good heart health.
It is important for good dental health that you refrain from eating foods with a high sugar content.
Sugars break down the enamel of the teeth through the erosion by the acid caused by bacteria.
It is therefore important to limit sugary food and drink and also to ensure that you brush your teeth regularly.
There has been a lot of scientific research around the type of food we eat and the harm we are doing to our own bodies.
Both the control of weight and the link to certain health conditions such as Cancers, Diabetes and heart disease to name a few, can all be linked to our diet.
Therefore, it is important for both the way we look both inside and outside to ensure we eat good, clean whole some food, rich in nutrients.
Why would you not want to give your body what it needs to look good and feel amazing!