What Are High Quality Carbohydrates?

| Last updated on | Published on October 15, 2008 | 2 Replies
Colorful Fruits

Flickr Commons: Image provided by Lisa Sinclair

High quality carbohydrates are carbs that have three very important features. First feature: They should provide good amounts of antioxidants. Second feature: They should not cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Third feature: High quality carbohydrates should contain high levels of nutrients and fiber.

Antioxidants are essential for your health because they stabilize free radicals which are unstable molecules. These unstable molecules are necessary for the release of energy, but too much of them can harm your cell’s DNA, leading to chronic diseases, such as cancer and premature aging. Nutrients are also essential for your health due to the fact that your body needs them to function properly.

Carbohydrates that cause spikes in blood sugar levels is not good for you because your pancreas has to work harder by releasing more insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin is a hormone that controls your metabolism and aids your body to store glucose as fat. Having too much insulin may lead to heart disease and weight gain, because it prevents your body from using fat as energy. The carbohydrate that causes spikes in blood sugar levels is simple carbohydrate. The one that does not cause spikes in blood sugar is complex carbohydrates.

High quality carbs (complex carbs)

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole Grain Cereal
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Buckwheat
  • Brown Rice

Low quality carbs (simple carbs)

  • Fried Food
  • Table Sugar
  • Candy
  • White Bread
  • Soda (pop)
  • Fast Food
  • Junk Food

For best results, choose only organic foods that have high quality carbohydrates.

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Category: Nutrition and Supplements

Comments (2)

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  1. daemien says:

    are whole grain cereals with high sugar levels bad for working out? would it be better to eat like whole grain cereals that are low in sugar lets say 3 g of sugar per bowl?

    • PL Chang says:

      Cereals that are high in sugar is not the best food for working out because the sugar will give you a quick burst of energy follow by an energy break down. Most cereals with high sugars are usually not made with whole grain. The whole grain cereals with low sugar is fine for workouts, 3 grams of sugar is not that bad. Complex carbohydrate is the way to go if you want endurance energy. Make sure the cereal is made with “100% whole grain.” If it has the term “made with whole grain” or anything similar, it is partially made with whole grain. Also, check the ingredient lists. If the first few ingredients are whole grain wheat, whole grain flour, than it is the healthier cereal. Check out the link below for more information on complex carbs.


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