6 Pack Abs Nutrition | Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs

Understanding the difference between refined carbs and those other ones.

You get inundated with information about carbohydrates. You may have even been frightened of them at one point – or maybe you are right now. However, not all carbs are bad. Actually, some carbs are good for you and necessary to keep your body going strong. Where do refined carbohydrates fall on the health scale? You’re about to find out.

Not So Good

cakes and cookiesTo get a refined carbohydrate, a food is taken that contains carbs, and then everything else in the food is taken away, leaving only the refined carbohydrate, which is either a starch or a sugar.

When eaten, refined carbohydrates give your body a quick boost in glucose (a.k.a. sugar), which can be helpful right before you get started in some sort of athletic endeavor, such as a sprint or a soccer game. The problem arises in when you are not engaging in an immediate need for that energy as you would in a soccer game. The body releases insulin to remove the simple sugars from your bloodstream and they are most likely going to be stored in your adipose tissue (polite word for FAT!)  However, eating refined carbohydrates on a regular basis, regardless of what you’re doing afterward, can leave you with a rather useless store of carbs.

They are all Around Us

To avoid eating too many refined carbohydrates, you should know what they look like and where they’re most often found. Thankfully, they’re rather easy to see, so you can sidestep them with ease. Most often, refined carbs are white on their own, but they can hide inside various foods without being recognized. The following are a few common foods that contain refined carbohydrates:

  • white bread
  • white rice
  • foods ending with the word “starch”
  • foods that use puffy or shredded grains
  • French Fries
  • Cookies, Candies, Cakes (the killer C’s)


 What’s a Better Choice

broccoli3Since refined carbohydrates aren’t doing your body much good, you ought to do your best to go for foods with the other kind of carbohydrates. Whether you call them good carbs or all-natural carbs doesn’t matter. What matters is what comes with these carbohydrates that is stripped from their refined peers. For our purposes, we will call them complex carbohydrates.  Complex carbs take longer for the body to break down due to their complex (polygon-ish) molecular structure. This extra time that its takes for the body to break the complex carbs down causes a very gradual and steady release of energy (definitely a good thing if you are not trying to wear that food around your waist disguised as fat.)

One of the items that gets stripped from carbohydrates during the refining process is fiber. Since fiber is helpful in your goal of good bowel health; avoiding diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and kidney stones; and obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight, you don’t want to spend much time eating foods that have gone through a fiber-stealing process. Instead of going with fiber-stripped carbohydrates, choose foods that contain fiber-rich carbs. Good choices include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.


Your Need for Carbohydrates

Still not convinced that you need carbohydrates in your diet? Has the popular no-carb diet craze messed with your head so much that you continue to fear this necessary part of your daily regimen? Then there’s something you should know.

While you don’t want to fill up on refined carbohydrates (as you already know), you do want to eat plenty of complex carbohydrates. In fact, otherwise healthy adults ought to use as much as 65 percent of their daily intake of calories to consume carbs. That means that every other bite you eat should contain healthy carbohydrates for optimal health. So what are you waiting for? Wave goodbye to those white, worn out refined carbohydrates, and open your arms and your mouth to health-boosting whole grains, fruits, and vegetables!

Why No-Carb Diet Works

If you’ve ever gotten into a diet that cuts you off from all carbohydrates, you probably lost some weight. If you’re supposed to need carbs, why did you have such great weight loss success when you cut them from your diet? There are four reasons.

The first is that cutting carbohydrates from your diet often results in a loss of water weight, as not eating carbs may cause you to urinate more frequently and with greater volume.

The second is that any diet that forces you to avoid one sort of food altogether will result in eating fewer calories. While this is a good thing at first, it’s healthier to trim calories from all the food groups instead of picking on carbohydrates only.

The third is that diets that trim carbohydrates do not trim protein or fat, which both cause you to feel full faster and longer, reducing your desire to eat.

The fourth and final reason is that the body’s preferred source of energy for high intensity activities is carbohydrates.  In an emergency situation when you need energy that is readily available, your body will most definitely be searching for carbs to fuel it.


So just keep these things in mind when you make your nutritional choices. Don’t be lead astray by the diet book industry, nor the media; Not all Carbs are Bad. There are some good carbs out there; however refined carbohydrates are not it. Tip: when you are doing your grocery shopping, stay to the perimeter of the grocery store.  Refined carbs normally live in the aisles in the middle of the store.

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