Carbohydrates (Carbs) are one of the three macronutrients that play an important role as a main source of energy for a body to function daily activities and maintain metabolism. The other two macronutrients are lipid and protein.
Carbs are divided into two forms: simple carbs (or bad carbs) and complex carbs (good carbs).
What are bad carbs?
Bad carbs are foods that have a high GI (Glycemic Index). The glycemic Index measures how quickly a carb raises blood sugar.
Glucose is the simplest form of sugar which the body converts into energy for its functioning and physical activities. A simple-carb molecule contains only one or two sugars. Therefore, it is easily digested and absorbed into the bloodstream.
After a meal of bad carbs (high GI), your blood sugar shoots up quickly and your body’s energy needs are fulfilled instantly; however, that energy remains available only for a short period of time.
Glucose is stored in the form of fat if energy is not needed immediately. Therefore, the intake of large quantities of bad carbs leads to unnecessary extra energy and a high chance of getting fat.
Besides, the quick absorption of energy can make you feel hungry, and as a result, it makes you want to eat more often.
Foods which contain bad carbs include: white bread, white rice, potatoes, sugar, candies, soft drinks, etc.
Features of bad-carb foods:
- High GI.
- Less nutrients and especially fibers.
- Provide more calories, and easily converted into fat.
- High glucose sugar in blood leads to tiredness, sleepiness.
What are good carbs?
Good carbs or complex carbs, on the other hand, have three or more sugars and require more time to digest and absorb. For that reason, good carbs have a low GI which means the level of blood sugar rises slowly and gradually with their intake and that contributes to a healthy metabolism. As a result, your body is provided with more sustained energy.
Also, the process of digestion and absorption occurs gently smoothly and that helps keep hunger away from hunger and enables us to stay fit.
Furthermore, many good carbs are the best natural source of fiber which is an essential for our digestive system. Unlike sugars and starches, fiber is not absorbed and converted into energy. It helps in assisting bowel movement and prevents constipation.
Foods rich in good carbs include whole grains (including whole-gain rice), wholemeal/wholegrain bread, oats, sweet potatoes, vegetables, etc.
Features of good-carb foods:
- Low GI.
- Fewer calories, sustained energy.
- Rich in nutrients and fiber.
- Body metabolism is maintained steadily and healthily.