By: Abbey Bowen
I can’t even count how many times I’ve heard someone say they cut carbs out of their diet to get healthier, but I’ve also heard people talk about how good they are for you. So, this got me thinking. Which one is it? Are carbohydrates good or bad?
According to WebMD.com, the answer is both! Similar to the tiny angel and devil we see on cartoons shoulders, carbs are separated by the “good” and the “bad.”
Here are some examples:
- Good carbs include whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit.
- Carbs are usually considered good when they are coupled with high fiber content
- Bad carbs are the product of refinement and processing, which take the majority of the good nutrients out of the grain. This includes foods like white rice and white bread
Another difference to note is between simple and complex carbohydrates:
- Simple carbohydrates are single, also known as monosaccharides, and double-chained sugars, also known as disaccharides.
- They are recognizable because they usually end with “-ose.” Fructose, glucose, sucrose and lactose are the primary examples.
- These sugars are usually added to low-fat foods to give them flavor. (They are also usually void of nutrition)
- Complex carbohydrates are many chains of simple sugars joined together, known as oligosaccharides and polysaccharides.
- They include starch and fiber. Foods that contain complex carbs include grains, bread, pasta, beans, potatoes, corn and other vegetables.
To sum all this up, carbohydrates are BOTH good and bad. Good carbs contain complex sugars that can be found in fruits, veggies, grains and legumes. Bad carbs contain a simpler composition of sugars and are found in the words ending in “-ose” that we are usually told to stay away from.
I hope this clears up the whole “good vs. bad carbs” debate that I know has been eating away at your soul for years. I know I feel a WHOLE lot better about the WHOLE thing, and I am going to continue enjoying the good carbohydrates I know and love, like those WHOLE grains 🙂
~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~