Subscribe to our Newsletter:
Healthy Diet Plans >>  Carbohydrates >>  Bad Carbohydrates

Bad Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates make an important part of your diet; however, it is recommended that they should not be consumed in large quantities. Carbohydrates are necessary for maintaining good health. Since energy is available most readily through carbohydrates, they should ideally make up about 40% of our diet. However, excesses are always bad and carbohydrates are no exception. If carbohydrates are consumed in excess, they can be detrimental to health and may affect the body in an adverse manner.

Carbohydrates are made up of sugars, cellulose, starches, and fibers.

Foods like fruits, vegetables, pastas, breads, and tubers, all contain carbohydrates. Some foods contain a lesser amount of carbohydrates and some contain more of them. It is important for the body to break down starch in order to utilize it and release energy. The body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which is then regulated by a hormone known as insulin. The body has to maintain a balance of glucose, since excess of it in the blood stream can cause severe damage to the organs.
There are no such things as bad carbohydrates. However, carbohydrates which are processed and refined, such as refined flours and refined sugars, are harmful for health because they create an imbalance of glucose in the body.

Carbohydrates can basically be divided into two broad categories: simple and complex. The simple carbohydrates are considered bad sources of carbohydrates, since they provide short-lived bursts of energy and force a person to consume more calories. Simple carbohydrates are also easily digestible and, therefore, quickly convert into glucose, thus creating an imbalance of glucose in the body. Some such examples of bad carbs are candies, cakes, chocolates, white breads, and any other foods that contain refined sugars.

Complex carbs, on the other hand, are good carbohydrates and are made up of long strings of carbohydrate molecules. They take more time to digest and, therefore, sustain the body’s needs for a longer period of time. Complex carbs are most usually found in foods that have other nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin E, zinc, and fibers. Together all of these are good for the health. Also, these nutrients help satiate hunger better, therefore keeping the body fuller for a longer period of time.

There are several negative side effects of overindulging in carbohydrates. The most common and perhaps most dangerous side effect of overeating carbohydrates is weight gain. Though both the liver and the muscles can store extra glucose in the form of glycogen, a large part of it is also converted into fat and stored in the body as fat cells.

The consumption of bad carbohydrates foods has another inherent risk. These foods cause type 2 diabetes in which the body is not able to produce adequate quantities of insulin. When you overeat carbs, there is also excessive production of insulin. The body becomes overwhelmed by the increased surge of insulin and it is common for it to not be able to regulate the production of insulin.

A moderate intake of complex hydrocarbons is critical in keeping the body healthy. It is recommended that about 40% of your daily energy needs should be addressed by carbohydrates in your meal. Out of this, 75% should be complex carbohydrates. However, if you are suffering from diabetes or obesity, a low carb diet is recommended and you can cut down the carbohydrate intake to 30%. Including more fibers and whole grain foods in your diet can help build a balance. Some foods have bad carbs inherently and these should be avoided or consumed in smaller quantities. Some examples of bad carbs are potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, rice, and other tubers.

Submitted on January 16, 2014