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Good carbohydrates vs. bad carbohydrates: How to choose the most appropriate

    Abdulaziz Sobh
    By Abdulaziz Sobh

    Categories: Beauty & Fitness, Health

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    Carbohydrates have long been the subject of debate among researchers, particularly with regard to what they are and whether they are healthy.
    Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from the three groups of macronutrients that are essential components of any diet.

    However, there are different types of carbohydrates and it is essential to know the difference between them in order to understand which ones to eat and which ones to avoid.

    Simple carbohydrates vs. complex
    Carbohydrates are one of the main sources of energy of the body and represent an essential part of any healthy diet.

    Different types of carbohydrates vary in terms of the impact they have on a person's health.

    Fiber, starch, and sugar are all carbohydrates.

    There are three broad carbohydrate groups:

    Monosaccharides: this is the most basic form of carbohydrates. Examples of monosaccharides include glucose and fructose.
    Disaccharides are two molecules of monosaccharides linked together. Examples include lactose and sucrose.
    Polysaccharides: this refers to chains of more than two monosaccharide molecules attached. Examples include fiber and starch.
    Monosaccharides and disaccharides are the different types of sugars and are known as simple carbohydrates. They provide a quick source of energy.

    Fiber and starch are made of polysaccharides and are known as complex carbohydrates. They contain longer chains of molecules that take more time for the body to break down and digest.

    Foods that contain complex carbohydrates are generally more nutritious than those that contain simple carbohydrates. Examples of complex carbohydrates include whole foods and vegetables. Examples of simple carbohydrates include corn syrup, soft drinks, and cookies.

    How to eat carbohydrates in a healthy way
    Many people choose to keep a low carb diet or reduce carbohydrates altogether.

    However, it is not a good idea to follow a low-carbohydrate diet unless a doctor specifically advises it, as it may not be beneficial for some people.

    Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient and a valuable source of energy.

    However, a healthy diet should include complex carbohydrates that are more nutritious than simple carbohydrates that contain little or no nutritional value.

    It is easy to replace many common types of simple carbohydrates with healthier alternatives. For example:

    Replace soft drinks or fruit juices made from concentrate with water or natural fruit juices.
    Choose whole fruits instead of foods with a high added sugar content, such as cakes or cookies.
    Eat whole wheat pasta, whole couscous or quinoa instead of white pasta.
    Change white bread for wholemeal bread or wrap.
    Eat nuts instead of potato chips.
    Many food producers offer 'low carb' versions of their products. However, keep in mind that some can be highly processed and contain artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, and other unhealthy additives.

    Some of these products contain many calories and lack nutritional benefits. This is because manufacturers often remove whole grains and replace them with other fillings.

    A balanced diet should include unprocessed natural complex carbohydrates that are rich in nutrients, including:

    whole grains
    Many of these foods are rich in fiber. Fiber is an essential nutrient to maintain a healthy digestive system and can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in some people. Replacing foods high in saturated fats or sugar with complex carbohydrates rich in fiber is also an effective way to consume fewer calories.

    Despite containing fructose, which is a simple carbohydrate, fruits are very nutritious and contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

    While natural fruit juice contains a high level of vitamins and minerals, it is low in fiber. For this reason, it is better to consume fruit juice in moderation and eat whole fruits instead.

    Avoid fruit juices made with concentrate because they contain high levels of added sugar.

    To take away
    Carbohydrates are highly nutritious and a valuable source of energy.

    However, it is essential to know the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates.

    Limit simple carbohydrates, since they do not satisfy appetite very well and are usually present in foods with low nutritional content.

    Increase the number of complex carbohydrates, as they can make a person feel fuller for longer and are usually very nutritious.