Good carbs vs Bad carbs

Despite their bad press carbohydrates are not detrimental to one’s health and body composition. A world of difference exists between foods that can be classified as bad and those that are simply rich in carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates that are “bad for you” are those whose (over)consumption negatively impacts your health. Most commonly these are sugar rich, processed foods of poor nutritional quality, high in salt and additives whose function is to preserve and increase the appeal of the product with no positive effect on the body.

Carbohydrates that are “good for you” are most commonly those that have taken the fewest steps between their original state and your plate. These are high in nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fibre; a combination that makes carbohydrates a rich and nutritious energy source. Albeit one whose consumption needs to be modified depending on your energy needs, fitness and aesthetic goals.

But wait. What about my body fat percentage? Aren’t carbohydrates bad for that?

In the context of lowering body fat percentage carbohydrate consumption must be modified first. Overall calorie intake must be reduced and with it the proportion of carbohydrates consumed by the individual. At the same time both proteins an high-quality fat intake must be increased.

Not only the quantity but also the quality of the carbohydrates must be modified. Complex, unrefined carbohydrates, rich in fibre and amino acids must become the primary choice when cooking the carbohydrate portion of your meal. These foods consist of long polysaccharide chains that take longer to breakdown into simple sugars. This together with high fibre and amino acid content of these “good” carbohydrates blunts the spikes in blood insulin, helping to control energy balance.

“Bad” Carbohydrates – keep to less than 10% of overall intake.

  • Table sugar
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Fruit juice
  • White bread
  • Sweets etc

“Good” carbohydrates – intake dependent on your fitness, aesthetic and health goals (up to 50% of overall intake)

  • Vegetables
  • Quinoa
  • Berries
  • Brown rice
  • Porridge
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils etc.

By adapting your intake of carbohydrates to those from the Good list you will end up eating less calories and more nutrients. The overall effect is better health, energy and healthier body fat distribution.

With healthy wishes,

Dmitri