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Carbohydrate is one of the essential macro-nutrients, and our body requires carbohydrates for the synthesis of energy. While some carbohydrates make you healthy, others can be harmful to your health, if taken in excess quantities. For example, certain carbohydrates increase the risk of diabetes and heart ailments. So, wondering why certain carbohydrates are beneficial, while others can adversely affect your health? Well, to find an answer, we need to delve a little deeper and learn about the different forms of carbohydrates.
Different Forms of Carbohydrates
There are many forms of carbohydrates, but the three common forms are sugars, starches, and fibers. The basic unit of all carbohydrates is a sugar molecule. The number of sugar molecules that link together to form a chain, is the basis of classification of carbohydrates into simple and complex forms. While sugars are simple carbohydrates, starches and fibers are classified as complex carbohydrates.
▶ Simple Carbohydrates
sucrose-molecular-structure

Simple carbohydrates are those that contain one or two sugar molecules linked together. They are digested or broken down into glucose faster, because the bonds in these small molecules are easily accessible to the enzymes of the digestive tract. Hence, these carbs are readily absorbed, and people consider them as bad carbs.
▶ Complex Carbohydrates
starch
Complex carbohydrates are made up of 3 or more sugar molecules linked together to form long chains that can be straight or branched. Because of its complex chain form, your digestive enzymes have to work much harder to access the bonds and break the chain into individual sugars for absorption through the intestines.
adenosine-molecule
Assimilation of Carbohydrates
The carbohydrates consumed by us are broken down into glucose by the body, except the dietary fibers that are indigestible. The glucose formed by the breaking down of carbohydrates is used to synthesize molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy molecule. The surplus glucose in the blood is absorbed by the liver, where it is stored in the form of glycogen.
Simple carbohydrates are more readily broken down to form glucose, which is then absorbed by the blood, causing a rise in blood sugar levels. However, complex carbohydrates take a longer time to get converted to glucose, and hence, do not cause a sudden rise in blood sugar levels. This is the reason why one is advised to eat more of complex carbohydrates.

If we consume too much of simple carbohydrates, then the excess glucose formed is either converted to glycogen and stored in the liver, or gets converted to fat. This is the reason too much fast food, processed foods, and desserts are bad for you. You should always go for good carbs if you wish to stay healthy and fit.
List of Foods Rich in Complex Carbohydrates

After learning about simple and complex carbs and how they are processed by the body, one might think that foods containing complex carbohydrates are actually healthier than those that have simple carbohydrates. However, this is not always true. Consider this. Rice is rich in starch which is a complex carbohydrate, while fruits contain fructose which is a simple sugar. But we all know that between the two, fruits are a better option when it comes to eating healthy. So, how do we know which foods have carbohydrates that are beneficial for us? In other words, how to find out the good carbs? Here's your list of good, healthy carbohydrates that you can eat everyday.
▶ List of Complex Carbs that can be Eaten Everyday
brussels-sprout
• All-bran cereals
• Apples
• Artichokes
• Asparagus
• Bagel
• Baked beans
• Bananas
• Beans
• Broccoli
• Brown bread
• Brown rice
• Brussels Sprouts
• Buckwheat
• Buckwheat bread
• Cabbage
• Carrots
• Cassava
• Cauliflower
• Celery
• Chickpeas
• Corn
• Cornmeal
• Cucumbers
• Dill Pickles
• Dried apricots
• Eggplant
• Garbanzo beans
• Granary Bread
• Grapefruits
• High fiber breakfast cereals
• Kidney beans
• Lentils
• Lettuce
• Low fat yogurt
• Macaroni
• Corn
• Muesli
• Multi-grain bread
organic-salad
• Oatcakes
• Oatmeal
• Okra
• Onions
• Oranges
• Other root vegetables
• Pastas
• Peas
• Pinto beans
• Pita bread
• Plums
• Porridge Oats
• Potato
• Prunes
• Pumpernickel bread
• Radishes
• Ryvita crispbread
• Shredded wheat
• Skim milk
• Soy milk
• Soybeans
• Spaghetti
• Spinach
• Split peas
• Sprouts
• Strawberries
• Sweet potato
• Tomatoes
• Turnip Greens
• Watercress
• Whole Barley
• Whole grain Cereals
• Whole grain flours
• Whole meal bread
• Wholemeal spelt bread
• Wild rice
• Yam
Good Carbs for Diabetics
So we have seen quite a long list of foods that are sources of "good carbs". But what about people who are diabetic? Are all of these foods good for them too? Well, the fact is that many of these foods cannot be taken by diabetics. This brings up the necessity of a second list that has all such sources of complex carbohydrates that are safe for diabetics. So, here it goes...
▶ 'What to Eat' for Diabetic Patients:
fried-rice-with-egg
• Whole Wheat Flour
• Whole Grain Cereals
• Brown Rice
• Corn
• Steamed Broccoli
• Tomato Soup
• Vegetable Juice
• Mixed Green Salad
• Roasted Bell Peppers
• Berries
• Apples
• Peaches
• Cherries
• Pears
• Figs
• Pomegranate
• Cantaloupe
• Guavas
• Plums
• Kiwis
• Starfruit
• Papaya
• 100 % Fruit Juice
• Sugar-free Jams
• Sugar-free Preserves
• Fruits canned in fruit juice
• Dried fruits with no added sugar
• Baked Potato Chips
• Non-hydrogenated Butter Spreads
• Baked Corn Chips
▶ 'What to Avoid' for Diabetic Patients:
canned-peas

• White flour
• Flour Products
• Vegetables
• Salad with Regular Dressing
• Canned vegetables
• Vegetables cooked with butter/animal fat
• Bananas
• Pineapple
• Mango
• Custard Apple
• Watermelon
• Canned and Processed Foods
• Ice cream
• Cakes
• Pies
• Butter
• Cookies
• Syrups
• Regular cream cheese
Thus, we see that not all carbohydrates are bad. In fact, a balanced diet that has a fair share of carbohydrates, is essential for a healthy you. So, go ahead and include some of these foods and reap the benefits that good carbs have to offer!