Good carbs are certain foods the way Mother Nature made them. They are whole grains, legumes (beans), fruits and leafy vegetables. You eat them as if you had taken them right out of the garden.
They are called complex carbs because they are loaded with nutrients and plenty of fiber. What that means is they are digested slowly. Slowly digested carbs are good for your cells because they break down slowly into simple sugars which means they keep your cells fed for a longer time between meals.
Good carbs come from fruits, vegetables, legumes/beans, and whole grains. They are usually foods with color, and they are usually the way Mother Nature originally made them. For example, whole grain hasn’t been “refined” and “enriched.” It’s what Ma Nature made in the first place.
Eating good carbs helps to keep your blood pressure regular, your blood sugar stable, excess pounds off and your cholesterol level healthy. Eating bad carbs does the opposite. It’s as simple as that.
Bad carbs are simple sugars. Simple sugars are found in refined sugars, like the white sugar you’d find in a sugar bowl. If you drink a sweetened soda, you’re drinking simple carbohydrates. But you’ll also find simple sugars in more nutritious foods, such as fruit and milk. It’s better to get your simple sugars from foods that have complex carbs like fruit and milk. Why? Because they contain vitamins, fiber, and important nutrients like calcium. Soda does not. For more information about sugar, click here.
Bad carbs are found in foods in which commercial bakers and food processors have removed the nutrient values in order to make them taste better and easier to process. We like these “comfort foods” because of the taste, but our bodies don’t handle them well. An example is “enriched” flour that is made into bread, bakery, cereal, pasta, and sweet pastry such as donuts, cakes, struddle, sweet rolls, and pies.
Another example of bad carbs is soft drinks and coffee latté. Refined sugar goes into these drinks to sweeten them, and that sugar rushes to your blood stream for an immediate high. Unfortunately, a depressing low will follow.
Refined sugar also goes into ice cream and other sweets. We like them because of their sugar, fat and salt composition, but our bodies don’t. Again let us repeat that bad cars are digested quickly, causing your blood sugar to surge and then plummet a few hours later. These are the foods you should limit.
“Bad” carbs are generally white in color. Think white sugar, white flour, white bread, etc. You want to avoid bad carbs because that will reduce your risk of weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.
So which type of carbs should you eat? Complex carbs.
A simple rule is “If it’s white don’t bite”
More carb comments
All carbohydrates (carbs) are made up of glucose (sugar) molecules. A simple carb as in white bread can be thought of as made up of glucose circles that are disconnected. A complex carb as in whole grain bread can be thought of as made up of connected circles in a chain link fence. The same is true with vegetables. Lettuce is an example.
Simple carbs (sugars) immediately go to your blood stream following eating and create a sugar/insulin spike. Complex carbs take time to break down so they don’t cause as big an insulin spike. A steady stream of complex carbs that are released over time is healthy as that keeps your insulin reasonably level.
A good carb has fiber in it. A bad carb has minimal or no fiber. The next time you go to the grocery store, check out the fiber content of whole wheat vs. “enriched” bread. The whole grain has a lot more fiber.
Eat the Right Forms of Foods to Look and Feel Younger
There are healthy forms of carbohydrates, fats and proteins that make all the difference in the world to whether you will age prematurely or look and feel as young as you are supposed to (and prevent disease and live longer).
You should not eliminate all carbs from your diet, as some proponents suggest. Instead reduce or eliminate bad carbs like grains and sugars and instead eat healthy carbs like vegetables–particularly vegetables that grow above ground (most root vegetables are high in starch and would best be limited).
To delve into all the carbs, fats and proteins you should avoid as compared to those you should be consuming takes an entire book–and Dr. Mercola claims he has written that book, which we encourage you to consider if you really want to avoid premature aging.
Resources: On the topic of avoiding premature aging by eating the right foods, here are a few of Dr. Mercola’s links you can explore.
- Reduce Grains and Sugars to Improve Health
- Increase Intake of Omega-3 Fats to Prevent Disease
- Six Foods that Will Give You the Most Health Bang for Your Buck
- What Does Europe’s Ban of Most U.S. Meats Mean to You?
- Why Do You Need Organic Food?
- Trans-fat: What is It, and Why is It So Dangerous?
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