How To Choose Good vs Bad Carbohydrates

Eating the right type of food will give your cells a steady stream of energy along with the nutrients it needs to obtain optimal health. According to the American Diabetes Association, carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our body. We also convert energy by consuming proteins and fats. For this discussion, we will be spotlighting our attention on carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches, and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products. They are called carbohydrates because, at the chemical level, they contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Carbohydrates are important for many functions within our body, including brain performance and blood sugar optimization.

Carbohydrates: Good vs. Bad

There are two types of carbohydrates in our diet: the non-processed (good) and processed (bad). The processed or simple carbs are found in candy, soda and syrups. These refined sugars get absorbed into our bloodstream quickly causing bursts of energy followed by energy crashes. The good carbs are found in whole foods such as beans, nuts, fruits, veggies, and whole-grain flour. These carbs are absorbed slowly into our system providing a sustained energy level.

Sources of Good Carbs:

  • Whole Grains
  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Beans & Legumes

Sources of Bad Carbs:

  • White bread & pasta
  • Soda & Syrups
  • Candy, sweets, pastry
  • White Rice

Maintaining Homeostasis

Eating a donut and drinking a can of soda will provide a temporary boost of energy. This is due to the insulin rapidly taking the sugar from your bloodstream and bringing it into the cells so the sugar can be used as energy. As that sugar is removed from the bloodstream, you’ll suffer a blood glucose crash, leaving you feeling ravenous and irritable. If you eat a dish of whole-grain rice, beans, and vegetables, you will experience a steady flow of energy for many hours. These good carbs aid the body in maintaining an environment of homeostasis which is defined as the balanced and stable state of an organism.


Susan Kapatoes
C: 508-282-7877

The author, Susan Kapatoes MHA, is the founder of
Inspire Your Journey, a health and wellness company. Services include a BEMER Rental Program, Wearable Health Technology, and Amare Global nutrition products. She lives in Massachusetts.