Good carbs are unprocessed carbohydrates in their 'natural' state. Green vegetables are the 'ultimate' good carbs. Most all 'leafy' vegetables and fruits fit into this category.
Good carbs have these healthy characteristics:
- high in fiber: helps you stay full longer, provides sustained energy, lowers cholesterol levels, helps to remove toxins from the body
- low glycemic index: stabilizes blood sugar levels and insulin production
- high in nutrients: natural vitamins & minerals promote health and help to prevent chronic disease
- low energy-density: provides sustained energy, promotes healthy weight loss and long-term weight maintenance
- greater thermic effect: naturally stimulates metabolism and promotes fat loss
The following food types are generally considered to be good carbs and should make up most or all of your carb intake:
- whole vegetables
- whole fruits
- nuts & seeds
- whole cereal grains
are refined, processed foods that have had all or most of their natural nutrients and fiber removed in order to make them easier to transport and more 'consumer friendly.' Bleached, enriched wheat flour and white sugar - along with an array of artificial flavorings, colorings, and preservatives - are the most common ingredients used to make 'bad carb' foods.
Bad carbs are harmful mainly because the human body is not able to process them very well. Our hormonal and digestive systems developed over the course of millions of years. Yet only in the past 100 years or so have humans had access to these highly-processed carbohydrates in abundance. Our bodies simply didn't have time to adapt and evolve to handle the rapid changes in food processing.
Because of this, most of the processed carbs we eat wreak havoc on our natural hormone levels. Insulin production, especially, is 'thrown out of wack' as the body attempts to process the huge amounts of starches and simple sugars contained in a typical 'bad carb'-based meal. This leads to dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose levels - a big reason why you often feel lethargic after eating these unhealthy meals.
The following food types are considered to be bad carbs:
- white bread
- non-diet soda
Information provided by www.goodcarbs.org