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Are There Really Bad Carbohydrates?

By Sara Butler

Have you ever heard people refer to some carbohydrates as good while they refer to others as bad? That may be a bit confusing to you, because what does that really mean? When it comes to nutrition, there are definitely foods that are better for your body than others, as well as foods that provide more nutrition. Here’s the skinny on good carbs versus bad carbs!

The Good Carbs

Your body needs carbohydrates to function properly. The issue is that some carbs are more complex than others; the more complex the carbs the better they are for you and your overall health. Complex carbs take longer for your body to process and break down, so they don’t cause a spike in your blood sugar. When your blood sugar is more stable it will improve your mood, your energy and provide more nutrients for your body to utilize.

Complex carbs also have one other important characteristic – they help you to feel fuller for longer. Take this example: You eat a salad for lunch rather than that giant piece of chocolate cake you’ve been eyeballing. Even if the calories are the same, it will take longer for your body to digest and break down the salad and that will leave you feeling fuller for longer and keep your blood sugar more stable than the cake.

A few examples of good carbs:

  • Vegetables
  • Oats
  • Berries
  • Brown rice
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Fruit
  • Whole grains

The more good carbs you can include in your diet, the better you will feel.

What about Bad Carbs?

Carbs that are considered bad are carbs that your body will process quickly. Because of the speed at which they are absorbed they can cause your blood sugar to spike. When that rush is over, your blood sugar then plummets, leaving you cranky and probably still hungry too.

Bad carbs are called simple carbs, and they usually are high in sugar but low in fiber. A diet full of simple carbs will lead to overeating and weight gain. A few examples of simple carbs are:

  • Candy
  • Soda
  • White flour
  • White rice
  • Pastries
  • Sugar

There are times when this quick source of energy is useful, but you need to remember they are not a great source of primary carbohydrate nutrition.

If you have more questions about simple and complex carbohydrates you should discuss them with your chiropractor during your next visit to The Joint Chiropractic!

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