Are all carbohydrates bad? Before we boycott carbs and make our own decisions, let’s first learn about them.


What Are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are a type of macronutrient that can be found in a variety of foods and beverages. They are the primary source of energy for the body to function and carry out daily activities.

Carbohydrates are also known as sugars, starches, and dietary fibre.


Understanding Carbohydrates


Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. Natural occurring sugar is found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, whereas table sugar is found in processed foods like cakes, pastries, and beverages.

 Simple carbohydrates are easily broken down into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream, providing your body cells with quick fuel and energy to function.

 Simple carbohydrates cause a spike in blood sugar, and when consumed in excess, the extra glucose that the body does not use is stored as fat, resulting in weight gain.



Starch is a complex carbohydrate found in many foods, including grains, vegetables and fruits.

Starchy foods are an essential part of a balanced diet, as they provide energy, fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients to the body.


There are three types of starch:

  • Rapidly digestible starch. The body rapidly converts it to glucose. Found in some cooked foods such as rice and potatoes. It is interesting to note that allowing cooked starchy foods to cool before eating them helps to increase their resistant starch content.
  • Slowly digestible starch. It takes longer to break down into glucose and releases energy slowly, which helps to avoid insulin and blood sugar spikes. Cereal grains are slow digestible starch.
  • Resistant starch. Human digestive enzymes cannot completely break it down; it passes through the digestive system undigested without raising glucose levels, making it beneficial for diabetes and weight loss. Resistant starch also acts as a prebiotic, which improves gut health. Consumption of resistant starch improves digestive health, prevents constipation, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. It also aids in weight loss by increasing the feeling of fullness. Resistant starch can be found in grain, seeds, beans, raw potatoes (or cooked potatoes that have been cooled), and green bananas.



Fiber is also a complex carbohydrate. It can be found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

Dietary fiber, like resistant starch, cannot be completely broken down by human digestive enzymes. It passes through the digestive system undigested, with no effect on glucose levels.

There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.

  • Soluble fiber.When dissolved in water, it forms a gel-like substance. Assist in blood sugar control and cholesterol reduction. It also helps with weight loss. Soluble fiber increases fullness, which reduces appetite and leads to weight loss. Oats, barley, psyllium, flaxseeds, peas, beans, apples, and carrots are all good sources of soluble fiber.
  • Insoluble fiber.This fiber is tough and difficult to digest in our digestive tract. It aids digestion and increases bowel volume. Encourages bowel movement and aids in the prevention of constipation. Promote colon health. Insoluble fiber can be found in whole wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans, and vegetables such as cauliflower and green beans.


This table summarises the difference between simple carbs and complex carbs:

Simple Carbs (Bad Carbs) Complex Carbs (Good Carbs)
Fast release of energy, spike in blood sugar level Slow release of energy, gradual rise in blood sugar level
Digested quickly, feel hungry quickly Digested slowly, help to feel full longer
Little or no fiber High dietary fiber
Low or no nutrients Rich in nutrients
High Glycemic Index Low Glycemic Index
Natural sugar from food source or table sugar added to processed food Natural sugar from food source
Contribute to weight gain Help with weight loss
Quick source of energy, beneficial for post-workout Stable source of energy, beneficial for pre-workout

To learn more about good carbs vs bad carbs, click here


Carbohydrates Vs Keto Diet

Based on studies, good carbs are the body’s and brain’s preferred source of energy, and they are used by the body more efficiently than energy derived from protein and fat. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, carbs are essential for optimal performance and should account for 45% to 65% of your daily calorie intake. Good carbs also provide a variety of health benefits such as support for diabetes, cardiovascular health, brain health, and muscle retention.

Many people who want to lose weight may prefer a low carbohydrate diet, such as the keto diet, which emphasizes protein and fat consumption. This approach may be effective, but it may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, muscle mass loss, and a negative impact on brain health.

After reading the above, do you believe that all carbs are bad?


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