The Complete Guide to Healthy Carbs

Carbohydrates are necessary to those attempting to eat healthy, and below is the complete guide to healthy carbs.

The body uses carbohydrates for its primary energy source, which means they are necessary. However for those who do not understand, it is hard to comprehend that some carbs are not equal to others.

Simple Carbs are Bad

Simple carbs are foods like fruits and vegetables, which are composed of basic sugars and are still different than cookies and cakes. Fiber found in fruits and vegetables helps the body process sugar and slows down the digestion, which makes them more like complex carbs than the sugars in junk food. Make sure that you only eat the minimal amount of the following: soda, candy, artificial syrups, sugar, white rice, white bread and white pasta, potatoes and dessert foods.

Complex Carbs are Good

Whole grains and legumes are made up of longer chains of sugar molecules and therefore take more time to digest and for the body to use. This provides energy on an even basis, compared to all at once, which is what happens with simple carbs.

Complex carbs provide energy on a more even basis to avoid highs and lows and therefore not have you getting tired through the day. Eating brown rice and whole wheat pasta instead of the white versions can help you maintain your energy level more effectively.

The glycemic index is another way to determine if the food is good for you. It helps you understand how quickly and how high your blood sugar will rise after you consume certain foods. Those that are lower on the glycemic index are better for you, while those that are higher are the ones to avoid. Lower glycemic foods will keep you feeling full longer after consumption. The complex carbs are typically lower glycemic foods.

Consider the following foods and their number on the glycemic index: white rice, 64, compared to brown rice at 55; white spaghetti at 44 compared to whole wheat spaghetting at 37; corn flakes at 81 compared to 100 percent bran at 38.

The glycemic load, which is the glycemic index and the amount of carbohydrates in the food, can help you determine those foods that might have a high glycemic index but a low number of carbs in the food, like watermelon. Watermelon is mostly made up of water.

Individuals who follow this approach and simply skip dessert, watch the levels of sugar in foods and try to eat more whole grains, fruits and veggies tend to feel more energetic, skip the snacks that are bad for them and find success in their weight loss efforts or improvement in their overall health as desired. For this reason, it is good to be aware of what is in the foods you eat and understand the carbs you consume on a daily basis. Eating foods that are bad for you only continues to encourage weight gain and illness, while eating healthy improves your attitude as well.