Good Carbs are complex carbs that have more energy, good health benefits and more essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Bad Carbs are simple carbs that digest rapidly and increase blood sugar level and risk of chronic diseases. This is the key difference between good carbs and bad carbs.
Carbohydrates (carbs) are the primary energy source of our body. An adult should take 45% to 65% calories from carbohydrates in order to avoid the risk of chronic diseases and fulfill the daily nutritional requirement. Carbohydrates can be simple and complex carbs, or good carbs and bad carbs.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Good Carbs
3. What are Bad Carbs
4. Similarities Between Good Carbs and Bad Carbs
5. Side by Side Comparison – Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs in Tabular Form
What are Good Carbs?
Good carbohydrates or good carbs simply refer to the complex carbohydrates which reside in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans. Since they possess a complex structure, they take time to digest and release energy (energy release is slow in good carbs). But they contain more energy that releases constantly without any peaks in the energy levels. Hence, these carbs have low risk in raising blood glucose levels and causing chronic diseases.
Good carbs are better sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Their nutrient content is high. They also help you to maintain a good body weight.
What are Bad Carbs?
Bad Carbs or simple carbs are the simple carbohydrates in our diet. They are poor in nutrients. They lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Simple carbs digest quickly and increase our blood glucose level rapidly. However, afterward, there is an energy fall which makes you hungry again and feeling tired.
Cane sugar, French fries, white bread, white rice, pasta, cakes, biscuits, processed juices, etc. are sources of bad carbs. These can cause weight gain.
What are the Similarities Between Good Carbs and Bad Carbs?
- Good and bad carbs are carbohydrates composed of C, H and O atoms.
- Both provide energy.
- Both contain nutrients.
What is the Difference Between Good Carbs and Bad Carbs?
Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs
|Good Carbs are the complex carbs that have more energy, good health benefits and more essential vitamins, minerals and fiber.||Bad Carbs are the simple carbs which digest rapidly and increase blood sugar level and risk of chronic diseases.|
|Also known as complex carbs||Also known as simple carbs|
|Absorb into our system slowly||Absorb into our system quickly|
|Full of fiber||Do not contain enough fiber|
|Blood Sugar Level|
|Maintain blood sugar level properly||Increases blood sugar quickly|
|Health risk of chronic diseases is low||Health risk of chronic diseases is high|
|Essential Vitamins and Minerals|
|Contain more essential vitamins and minerals||Do not contain essential vitamins and minerals|
|Powerful energy sources||Less powerful energy sources|
|Do not make you hungry for a long time||Make you hungry after a short time|
|Have a low glycemic value||Have a high glycemic value|
|Weight Gain or Loss|
|Help to lose weight||Responsible for weight gain|
|Sources include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, etc.||Sources include white flour, white bread, white rice, French fries, pasta, cakes, biscuits, etc.|
Summary – Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs
Based on the health risks and energy levels, carbohydrates can be good or bad. Good carbs are the complex carbohydrates that are rich in nutrients. They contain more energy and are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. On the other hand, bad carbs are simple carbohydrates that are poor in nutrients and energy. They lack vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans are sources of good carbs while white rice, cakes, white bread, pasta, biscuits, French fries, burger, etc. contain bad carbs. Bad carbs are processed foods while good carbs are closer to the natural state. This is the difference between good carbs and bad carbs.
1. By Keith Weller, USDA ARS – This image was released by the Agricultural Research Service, the research agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, with the ID K3839-3 (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Pasta” by CDC/ Debora Cartagena acquired from Public Health Image Library (Public Domain) via Freestockphotos.biz