What Are Good Carbs?


Quick Answer

According to WebMD, good carbohydrates consist of whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits, with fiber, vitamins and minerals intact, in contrast to "bad carbs" such as white bread, white rice and other highly processed and refined foods stripped of valuable nutrients and vitamins. The Harvard School of Public Health states that the healthiest carbohydrates are those minimally processed or unprocessed and gives examples such as quinoa and steel cut oats.

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Full Answer

Since carbohydrates supply glucose to the body, which is converted to energy, it is important to use good carbs as fuel, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. Although cookies, soft drinks, potatoes and pasta contain carbohydrates, they are refined or highly processed and contribute to weight gain and heart disease.

According to WebMD, good carbs should comprise about half of a person's daily calorie intake, with the balance in proteins and fats. Daily intake of fiber is important to help promote weight control and prevent colon cancer. Since good carbs, such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains, contain plenty of fiber, they should be included in the diet as aging occurs. Up to 38 grams of fiber per day is recommended for men and up to 25 grams per day for women.

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