Carbs have been getting a bad rap lately, making some think they are no good for you. One of the main reasons people believe carbs are bad is because they think they make you gain weight. But it is not just about carbs—it is about how much you eat overall. If you go eat more calories than your body needs, any extra energy can turn into fat. It is all about finding a balance and not going overboard!
Now, let's talk about those refined carbs. These are the ones that have been processed and stripped of their good stuff like fiber and nutrients. This includes foods such as white bread or sugary cereals. They do have their downsides since they can make your blood sugar go up (Harvard Health Letter, 2012), leaving you feeling drained and craving more. But, as previously mentioned, not all carbs are bad! There are some good ones you should keep on your radar.
So, what exactly are these good carbs? Picture whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat bread, oats, and quinoa. These guys are packed with fiber, B vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that keep your tummy happy, and your blood sugar steady, and can even help fight off diseases. Another group of carbs are legumes, foods such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Legumes are known for consisting of complex carbs, fiber, and protein. They release their energy slowly, so you feel fuller for longer.
People tend to be concerned about fruits because they contain simple sugars. Although this is true, they are loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Fruits such as apples, oranges, berries, and pears— will not make your blood sugar rise because they are not packed with sugar. If you are a carb lover, then vegetables are best. Non-starchy veggies like broccoli, spinach, kale, peppers, and cauliflower are low in calories but high in fiber.
So, the truth is, good carbs are good for you. They provide you with energy, important nutrients, and keep you feeling satisfied. Just remember to go for whole, unprocessed options and keep an eye on portion sizes.
“Choosing Good Carbs with the Glycemic Index.” Harvard Health Letter, vol. 38, no. 1, Nov. 2012, pp. 1–7. EBSCOhost, https://search-ebscohost-com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=84496587&site=ehost-live&scope=site