Good Carb Bad Carb: Know the difference

Good Carb Bad Carb: Know the difference

Good Carb Bad Carb: Know the Difference with Rajah

We have all probably heard of good and bad carbs, but this information is usually unclear and sometimes simplifying things helps us make better lifestyle choices and protect our family’s health. The digestive system uses carbohydrates to create the glucose, which is the fuel that gives you the energy your body needs in order to function every day. These carbs are found in fruits, vegetables, bread, cereal, grains, milk, and other foods and beverages that contain sugars.

Carbohydrates are broken into two categories: simple carbs and complex carbs. Complex carbs take a while to break down into glucose in your body and are therefore digested slower. Complex carbs and fibre-rich foods are what we would call good carbs. Simple carbs are those that cause rapid spikes in blood sugar and are connected to the increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Foods containing simple carbs are considered bad carbs, and are often processed foods that are high in sugar.

Whole grain foods such as brown rice, whole grain pasta, beans, whole wheat bread and whole grain corn are good carbs and are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals that are good for your health. Fruits and vegetables also fall into this category and you should aim to ear two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables a day to fight of illness and keep your digestive system regular.

Refined grains (like white flour and sugary cereal), sweets and biscuits, on the other hand, should be kept to a minimum in your diet. The reason for this is that they have very little nutrients yet contain a lot of calories. Additionally, these bad carbs control the decision making part of your brain; which leads to a loss of self-control and craving to eat more unhealthy, sugary foods. A diet that has a lot of these foods does your health no favours.

Carb tips to help plan your daily diet:

• For breakfast, have a hot cereal like oats or porridge. If you’re having cold cereal, ensure that it is whole grain.

• Buy only whole grain bread to use for lunch or snacks

• Instead of white rice and potatoes, prepare brown rice, sweet potato or whole-wheat pasta for supper.

• Rather opt for fresh whole fruits than fruit juice as these give you double the fibre and half the sugar.

• Beans are a great source of protein as well as good slowly digested carbohydrates.

Hopefully this has helped in your understanding of which starches are good and which you should probably go without. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be dull and tasteless; just switching a few things in your meal plan can go a long way.

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