By scientific definition, carbohydrates are neutral compounds of carbon, hydrogen and
oxygen in simple forms such as sugars, and in complex forms such as starches and
glucose. They are a major source of fuel and nutrients for our bodies, and should be part
of a healthy diet, even when the goal is to lose weight.
There are carbohydrate-rich foods or “good carbs” that you should be investing in. They
contain important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Examples: (1) Sweet potatoes,
digests slowly keeping you feel fuller and energized longer, loaded with carotenoids
antioxidants that stabilize blood sugar levels that keep hunger at bay; (2) Blueberries are
high in fiber and rich in ursolic acids that help preserve muscle mass; (3) Beans are high
in soluble fiber and a chemical called butyrate that encourages the body to burn fat’s fuel.
On the other hand, foods containing sugars easily digested by the body and provide quick
energy are simple carbohydrates that can be found in fruits, some vegetables and
milk/milk products. Simple carbohydrates or “bad carbs” are also found in processed
and refined foods like soda, pastries, white bread, pasta, which are lacking in nutritional
value and filled with preservatives. These certain ones should be avoided. Studies
indicate that refined sugars are linked to disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Final note, do not be too quick in writing off carbohydrates. They play an important role
in a healthy and balanced diet. Carbohydrates are not created equal and being able to
identify the good from the bad will help you feel better about keeping them in your diet.