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Facts About Carbohydrates – Are there Healthy and Unhealthy Carbs?

Learn if carbohydrates are really as bad as most people consider them to be.

There has been much written about the effect that carbohydrates have on human health. With the common perception being that carbohydrates are bad for health, a rise in popularity has been seen for low-carb diets that only incorporate a minimum number of carbohydrates. In this article, we will see if carbohydrates are really as bad as most people consider them to be.

What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are one of the three naturally occurring macronutrients other than dietary fats, and protein that are found in a wide variety of plant-based food items such as fruits, vegetables, peas, nuts, beans, nuts, seeds, dairy, and dairy products.

At a molecular level, they are sugar-containing molecules of various types that are important for several metabolic processes. Carbohydrates are divided into three main types, namely sugars, dietary fibers, and starches. They can be further classified as simple or complex carbs depending upon the number and type of sugar molecules that each structure contains.

Simple carbs are also known as simple sugars, sugars, or saccharides. Simple carbs containing between one and ten sugar molecules are commonly found in fruits, dairy products, and vegetables. The ones with one or two sugar molecules are known as monosaccharides, or disaccharides respectively, while others with up to 10 sugar molecules are known as oligosaccharides.

Complex carbs as the name suggests are much more complex and are usually made up of polysaccharides that are essentially intricate, longer chains of sugar molecules. Starches and dietary fiber are classified as complex carbs. Starches are usually found in peas, beans, grains, and vegetables and they provide our body with the energy needed to function.

Dietary fiber on the other hand is the indigestible part of the plant in whole grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits, and legumes and mainly supports gut health by making digestion easier.

Are there Healthy and Unhealthy Carbs?

There is no simple answer to the question of whether carbs are healthy or not. There is some research to suggest that the quality of carbohydrates matters as much as the quantity. Findings of other studies indicate that not all carbohydrates are created equal with some being better for health than others.

Refined carbs usually found in polished rice, and flour are generally considered unhealthy carbs. Sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas and juices, and highly processed foods such as cookies and pastries are also rich in unhealthy carbs. As such it would be better to avoid these types of food if you want to reduce your intake of unhealthy carbs.

It’s also important to note the difference between naturally occurring sugars and those found naturally in foods. Added sugars are usually associated with unhealthy carbs and have been known to cause several ailments. While no such association has been noted for naturally occurring sugars that are found in food items.

Healthy carbs are usually found in the fruits such as apples, berries, and bananas, non-starchy vegetables such as carrot, tomatoes, and spinach, whole grains, peas, beans, dairy, and dairy products.


This content is published on behalf of the above source. Please contact them directly for any concern related to the above.

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