Carbohydrates are a critical part of your diet, but that doesn’t mean you’re free to load up on chips and pastries to get your fill. Read more below about how you can spot the difference between good and bad carbohydrates.
Simple vs. Complex
Simple carbs, such as honey, jellies, and molasses, are sugars. All simple carbs are made of just one or two molecules, with no nutritional value. Complex carbs, such as corn and peas, are starches formed by long saccharide chains, taking a longer time to break down and digest. Because they are most commonly found in whole foods, complex carbs are often high in vitamins and minerals.
High-Fiber vs. Low-Fiber
Plant based carbs, like black beans and sweets potatoes, are high in fiber that can aid in weight maintenance by keeping you fuller for longer. Low-fiber carbs, like pasta and bagels, strip away fiber and digest very quickly. Eating fruits and vegetables with their fiber intact will help keep your waistline trim, while helping to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Refined vs. Natural
Foods that have been overly processed, such as white rice and white bread, can lead to surges in your blood sugar levels followed by a subsequent crash in energy. Unlike refined carbs, whole food sources, such as legumes and brown rice, are loaded with nutrients that will keep you healthy and energized.
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