Carbs, or carbohydrates, are essential parts of your diet. They are often regarded as unhealthy, and most people have heard recommendations to avoid them, but you need them to stay healthy.

This doesn’t mean that all carbs are good for you, either. There’s an important distinction between carbs that are better for you and carbs that aren’t as good for you (the terms good carbs and bad carbs aren’t as accurate, as it’s really a gradient).

 

What are carbohydrates?

Carbs are a macronutrient contained in most of your foods and beverages. They’re what your body gets quick short-term energy from. They’re common in plant-based foods, but they can also be added artificially by manufacturers. There are three main types of carbs – sugar, starch, and fiber.

Sugars are simple carbohydrates, and they’re naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables, and milk. They’re also the most common type of added carbohydrates, which are found in all kinds of sugary foods.

Starches are complex carbohydrates that are created from multiple sugars. This kind of carb occurs naturally in grains, fruits, vegetables, cooked peas, and beans.

Fiber is also present in those foods, and it’s another type of complex carb.

 

What carbs should I eat to stay healthy?

You should avoid added sugars. Not only are they artificial, but they also don’t present any health benefits beyond momentary energy. They are usually a lot of calories for barely any healthy value. You should eat fibrous fruits, veggies, and whole grains instead. A good place to start is MyPlate.gov, where the US Department of Agriculture has guidelines for how to eat a healthy and balanced diet.

If you have questions about what you should and shouldn’t be eating to cater to your specific needs, a good place to start is your primary care physician. If you’re looking for a primary care physician in Plano, Irving, or Frisco, call us at 214-666-6259 or schedule an appointment in the contact tab above the post.

Author Jai Sammpath

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