Home Healthy EatingCarbohydrates Good Carbohydrates: Do They Make You Lean?

Good Carbohydrates: Do They Make You Lean?

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 425 views

Good carbohydrates are colloquially referred to as carbohydrates that cause the blood sugar level to rise and fall slowly. They give the body energy in a healthy way and keep you full for a long time – which is why these long-chain carbohydrates are often recommended for diets. Read more about good carbohydrates here.

What are good carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the human organism. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. There are so-called complex carbohydrates, often referred to as “good” carbohydrates. And their counterpart, the short-chain or “bad” carbohydrates.

Bad carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly

Carbohydrates in the form of simple and double sugars (mono-, disaccharides) are found in foods such as white bread, sweets or sweet fruits such as bananas, grapes and pineapple. There is also talk of short-chain carbohydrates. The body can use them quickly, they go directly into the blood.

The problem with it: There is an abrupt increase in blood sugar levels and thus a rapid increase in performance. However, it also drops quickly again and food cravings arise.

Good carbohydrates keep blood sugar levels stable

The situation is different for multiple sugars (polysaccharides), such as those found in vegetables, legumes or whole grain products. The body has to break it down before it can use it. Long-chain carbohydrates cause the blood sugar level to rise and fall again.

Since such foods often also contain fiber, not only does the blood sugar level remain stable, but they also keep you full for longer. That’s why we’re talking about good carbohydrates.

These long-chain carbohydrates also have a low glycemic index (GLYX). The higher this value, the faster the blood sugar level rises when the product in question is consumed.

Read more about carbohydrates or the glycemic index here .

Which foods contain good carbohydrates?

There are some foods that contain good carbohydrates. The products in the following list are particularly recommended:

  • Legumes (lentils, beans)
  • green vegetables like broccoli and spinach
  • Salat
  • nuts
  • oatmeal
  • whole grain products
  • potatoes

A tip: With some products, it also depends on the preparation how quickly the carbohydrates get into the blood. For example, if you cook wholemeal pasta only al dente and not completely, the carbohydrate chains are broken down less, so the body has to work harder to get the energy.

Do Good Carbs Help You Lose Weight?

In diet guides you can read again and again: Carbohydrates make you fat, you have to do without them if you want to lose pounds. Numerous so-called low-carb diets such as the Atkins diet or the keto diet are based on exactly this assumption and do not distinguish between bad and good carbohydrates.

But demonizing carbohydrates is wrong. Studies indicate that in the medium term it makes little difference whether the participants lost weight with or without carbohydrates. On the contrary: if they were allowed to eat carbohydrates, they were less irritable.

No wonder: Our body needs the energy suppliers for various processes in the body, especially the brain is dependent on them. On the one hand, good carbohydrates can support weight loss because they keep you in a good mood and thus increase the likelihood of staying power. On the other hand, they fill you up and keep the blood sugar level constant, so that binge eating and food cravings do not occur.

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