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Good Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are required as an essential if not primary source of energy for the body. Carbohydrates provide the body with the necessary energy to allow contractions of muscles required for various exercises, overall good health of the digestive tract, central nervous system, heart, brain, liver and other vital organs. Good carbohydrates are those that are low in empty calories but high in vitamins, nutrients and minerals. A good carbohydrate diet will include plenty of vegetables and fruits as they are rich in fiber and photochemicals and are one of the excellent sources of good carbs which are conducive to manage and lose weight. Additionally it has also been observed that people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables are at a lower risk of some cancers and even heart disease.

Hence it is recommended that people consume at least 5 portions of fruits and other good carbohydrate foods. Similarly the good carb list also includes whole grains and whole grain foods such as rice, pasta, and noodles which are high in starch and are the primary source of energy for the body. The food carbohydrates list should include food grains that are unprocessed or refined so that their nutrient levels are maintained. Unrefined carbohydrates contain the whole grain and are hence medium calorie that are higher in fiber and hence keep the individual feeling full for a longer period of time thereby promoting weight loss. Potatoes are also an excellent example of good carbohydrates as they have high GI values especially fresh white potatoes. Potatoes are also a good healthy and fat free food that also provides the individual with useful quantities for vitamin C, fiber and potassium. Most good carbohydrates foods are high in fiber and thereby help in eliminating toxins from the body and also keep the cholesterol levels low. Good carbohydrates are those foods that are in their natural state or are as close to their natural state as possible. They are the foods that are not altered or processed by people and machines. Additionally good carbohydrates foods have a low glycemic index which ensures that there is no spike in the blood sugar levels. This is an important factor for diabetics who need to constantly monitor their blood glucose levels. Sources of good carbs are nuts, seeds, vegetables, whole grain cereals, whole grain pasta, and whole grain breads. Bad carbohydrates are those foods that are not in their natural state as they have been processed and refined. As a result these foods tend to lose most of their nutritional value. Such carbohydrates are considered to be bad carbohydrates as they cause a spike in the individual’s glucose levels and are also not easily digested. If an individual consumes too much of bad carbohydrates then they may gain weight on account of the intake of empty calories.

Bad carbohydrates tend to pass immediately from the stomach to the intestine and thus cause a sudden rise in the blood sugar of the concerned person. On the other hand good carbohydrate foods such as whole grains will have a thick coating of fiber which releases starch and sugar slowly so that the blood sugar levels do not rise too high. Ideally, carbohydrates should constitute at least 40 percent of the daily calorie intake with another 30 percent concentrating on the protein intake and the balance 30 percent should be coming from good fats such as flaxseed oils or omega-3. If the body is not provided with adequate quantities of carbohydrates then the person will lack the required amount f energy to perform day today activities. Such people are usually lethargic and are also less active and irritable.

Submitted on January 16, 2014