What Is a Carbohydrate? Slow Carbs and Fast Carbs?

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Good carbs, bad carbs, what’s the deal with carbs? To get started, let’s teach you what what exactly is a carb.

What is a Carbohydrate?

First of all, let’s learn exactly what are carbohydrates or “carbs”. Carbohydrates are a common source of energy provided by foods high in starch (cereals, breads and pasta) or simple carbohydrates like sugar.

Carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient in humans (essential nutrients are fats and proteins). Carbohydrates contain 4 kilocalories (energy) per gram, while fats provide 9 kilocalories.

To breakdown all this, carbs provide energy for the body, and provide less calories than fats. Our body doesn’t need it to survive, but it’s found in most foods we eat on a daily basis.

One of our highly rated low carb diets is The South Beach Diet, an example of a “good carb diet” is the Nutrisystem diet

Slow Carbs and Fast Carbs

Before we go any further, let’s clear up some questions we’ve been getting about different names people have for carbohydrates.

So what’s the deal with slow carbs and fast carbs? How do they relate to “good carbs” and “bad carbs”?

It’s actually quite simple, slow carbs are the same thing as good carbs. And bad carbs are the same thing as fast carbs.

What is a Good Carb?

So the list of bad carbs is everything that tastes good, so our goal is to find a way to turn bad carbs into good carbs by eating the right foods. Here are our favorite, tasty good carbs.

Good Carb List / Low Glycemic Food List

Important: Good carbs and low glycemic carbs are the same phrase to describe how carbohydrates are broken down in your body.

Click on an item to view nutritional facts

Almonds
Apples
Arugula
Asparagus
Avocados
Bananas
Blueberries
Black Beans
Broccoli
Brown Rice
Cauliflower
Celery
Eggs
Garbanzo Beans
Grapes
Hummus
Oranges
Quinoa (Quinoa Feta Spinach Salad)
Romaine Lettuce
Shrimp
Strawberries
Sunflower Seeds
Sweet Potato
Watermelon
Wheat Flour
Whole Wheat Bread
Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns (Nutrisystem Turkey Hot Dog)
Zucchini

What is a Bad Carb?

A lot of our readers have been asking for a list of bad carbs so you can know what foods to avoid.

Bad Carb List

White bread (hoagies, rolls, sandwich bread)
Corn cereal (corn flakes, pops, etc.)
Simple sugar (gatorade powder, kool aid, raw sugar)
Pasta
Pretzels
Potato
Potato chips
Cupcakes
Cookies
Cake
Candies
Jelly
Jams
Pudding
Custards
White Rice

Nutritional Facts

It’s important to know the calories, carbs, fat, and sugar content of the foods you eat. It helps you control the amount of calories you eat, which results in losing more weight by eating the right foods.

Visit the nutritional facts section on our site to explore the calorie count for all the top restaurants, and common produce items as well.

What’s an Easy Way to Eat Good Carbs?

Eating good carbs can be a lot of work, especially for those of us who have been used to a steady diet of the bad carbs.

What we suggest is to look into a good carb diet and buy their meals for a month or two until you get the hang of exactly what are good carbs and how you can cook and find them for yourself without the assistance of a diet.

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