Good carbs are complex carbohydrates, while bad carbs are simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates require time to break down or dissolve into glucose, and simple carbohydrates are added to foods during processing. Complex carbohydrates are foods high in fiber, whereas simple carbohydrates are high in sugars and white flour.
Good carbs are found in products or foods that include vegetables, whole-grain corn, fruits, brown rice, whole-grain barley, whole-grain pasta, whole rye, beans, buckwheat, whole wheat bread and whole oats. Good carbs are foods that are beneficial to the health of the body and are high in vitamins, fiber and minerals. These foods produce a slow change in blood sugar levels, which place them lower on the glycemic index.
Bad carbs rank higher on the glycemic index and are stripped of minerals, vitamins and fiber during the refining process. These types of carbs include refined grains such as muffins, white bread, hamburger buns, pizza crust and pretzels. A higher glycemic index supplies a large amount of calories and has a negative effect on the body’s blood sugar levels. Other types of bad carbs include baked goods, chips, high fructose corn syrup, cookies, pancakes, sodas and pastries. These foods have no nutritional value and are low in nutrient density.