Carbohydrates are essentially the first form of fuel for our bodies. This means that the body turns to carbs for its basic energy needs. Now carbohydrates come in varieties known as complex carbs and simple carbs.
Complex carbs are nutrient dense foods, filled with vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body. These carbohydrate foods are closer to their natural form, without being tampered by processing or refining of ingredients and retain most of their nutritional content.
They also provide energy that lasts during the day and keep cravings to a low by stabilizing your blood sugar.
Complex carbs also known as starches include whole, unrefined grains, fiber-rich starches like root vegetables. Foods like whole grains, beans, seeds, fruits and vegetables are all classified as complex carbs and should be part of every balanced diet.
Other carbs known as simple carbs and sugars, also provide the body with energy. Simple carbs are composed of simple-to-digest basic sugars that add little energy to the body.
They are higher in sugar and lower in fiber. Among these carbs that have been refined, processed starch and processed or artificial sugars are not good for consumption.
Due to the refining process during preparation, these carbs lose most of their nutritional content, are stripped of important nutrients and yield empty calories with no nutritional benefits.
These are the carbs that make up a significant component of our modern day diet and the biggest problem in the fight for effective weight loss and are the ones that should be completely avoided or eliminated from the diet.
Think of everything from white bread, pastries and pastas to sweetened cereals and deep fried starches like potato fries and chips, everyday staples for many people and all under the banner of simple carbs.
The vital nutrients present in whole, unprocessed carbs are all depleted in these foods making them unable to transform the nutrition into energy, leaving you feeling tired and fatigued.
An important factor that determines whether a carb should be good or bad depends on its fiber content. Fiber is the part in foods that cannot be digested by the body. And even though it cannot be absorbed it does a number of great things for us.
For instance, fiber slows down the absorption of other nutrients including carbs and can prevent fluctuations in blood glucose levels. It can help keep you feeling full longer.
So the quality of a carbohydrate, other than the amount of processing it undergoes, is highly detectable by its fiber content.
Choose complex carbs and fiber for better health!