16/06/2023 / Health and Fitness

Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs: Which carbs are good for weight loss

You may not have realized that carbohydrates provide 70% of calories across all parts of India. In this blog know the good carbs and worst carbs food.

Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs Which carbs are good for weight loss
Juveriya Anwar MominJuveriya Anwar Momin
Juveriya Anwar Momin
Pharmacist, Research Associate
Medically Cited
Fact Checked

Table of Content


Carbohydrates are the easiest and most important source of calories, because of their low cost and wide availability. Our daily food includes rice, wheat, soft drinks, starchy vegetables, pulses, milk, etc are main sources of carbohydrates.

We need to manage our carbs intake as excess carbs lead to serious complications.

What are carbohydrates?

These are the macronutrients that are available in many foods and drinks. Carbohydrates are sugar divided into main 2 type’s simple carbs and complex carbs.  

Simpler carbs generally known as sugars and complex carbs serve as energy stores. Our body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose which is the main source of energy for our body’s cells.

Glucose is the only source of energy for the brain, hence it is essential to learn whether to eat high carbohydrate foods or low carbs food and in what concentration.

Different carbs are

Different carbs are

1. Sugars: Natural sugars we have in fruits, milk, added sugars like drinks, and packaged foods.

2. Starches: Includes oats, wheat, grains, corn, potato, lentils etc containing starch.

3. Fiber: This is an indigestible form of carbs digested by our gut microbes.

Good carbs and Worst carbs

No doubt our body needs for instant energy and normal brain functioning as our brain only utilizes glucose as a source of energy. Just like our heart utilizes fatty acids as a source of energy.

Good carbohydrates for your health

Good carbohydrates for your health

1. Vegetables

All leafy vegetables are super healthy and rich in nutrition. You can have your favorite leafy vegetable at least once a day. It will fulfill almost all of your daily nutrient intake.

2. Fruits

Bananas, apples, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, pears, unsweetened fruit juice, grapes, melon, etc. Eat different fruit each day, for your sweet tooth. If you are diabetic consult your physician regarding your diet plans.

3. Whole grain

Oats, barley, brown rice, and corn, are rich in complex carbs. These are not processed foods, they are rich in fiber, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

4. Milk

This is a highly recommended natural source of carbohydrates. As we all know it helps in growth and development too. If you are lactose intolerant you can opt for different plant-based milk options.

5. Sweet potato

This is the simplest source of carbohydrates. Many people like to eat this boiled or cooked, both tastes good. It is diabetic friendly too and a rich source of fiber.

6. Quinoa

It is a seed-like edible food with an ample amount of carbs. It lowers cholesterol.

7. Pulses

1 cup of boiled lentils has enough fiber to improve your health. It enhances satiety levels and helps in weight loss.

8. Yogurt

Greek yogurt, milk yogurt, low-fat yogurt you can have any of this yogurt to fulfill your microbiota. Yogurt helps in digestion, reduces acidity, and increases blood sugar concentration in required levels.

9. Kidney beans

It has a good amount of starch and fiber. Play a role in weight management.

10. Chickpea

It reduces appetite, hence reducing hunger. It is good for the management of blood sugar levels.

Worst carbs for your health

Worst carbs for your health

1. Coffee

No wonder coffee is good for your health, it boosts your metabolism, is rich in antioxidants, helps to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, liver cancer, etc, but these benefits turn into risks when you add calories to it.

Drinking too much coffee is unhealthy. It crosses the daily threshold of calories and this is not a healthy option.

2. Jellies and jams

This classic spread reminds you of your childhood, but it comes with a big chunk of calories. Just 1 tbsp of jam has 20g of calories. Don’t trick yourself, no one stops after 1 tbsp of jam.

Eat it in moderation for your health.

3. Soft drinks

These drinks are filled with sugar which is good for your tastebuds but not for your health.

Replace it with lime juice, tulsi water, honey water, and fresh fruit-infused water to maintain the pH of your body.

4. Candy sweets

You have to compromise with your sweet tooth. Replace it with a fresh fruit bowl and a healthy smoothie.

5. Ready-made fruit juices

These are infused with sugars, opt for homemade juices or simply lemonade.

6. Breakfast cereals

Few bowls of cereal have added sugars in them to make it flavourful.  Always read the label carefully and then make your choice.

7. White rice

An Indian meal is incomplete without a dish of rice. Rice is a food ingredient with a lot of fiber, nutrients, and a whole source of carbohydrates.

To manage your calories, you must decrease the intake of rice, or opt for alternatives like brown rice.

8. Pizza

Not gonna lie, you cannot control your will even after 2 slices of pizza. Everyone cheats on meals. Do you know, 1 pizza serving has 120 gm of carbohydrates, almost half of the daily recommendation of carbs.  It immediately spikes your insulin levels.

Do not eat pizzas frequently, especially if you are diabetic.

9. French fries

The favorite go-to snack of adults, every other day people crave for french fries. Though potato is a good carb you have turned it into the worst carb by increasing trans fat values. This is not only fat for your heart but also for your digestion.

Switch it with a healthy potato dish, or sweet potato fries.

Are low-carb foods good for weight loss?

Is it really effective? As every other dish we eat has a lot of carbohydrates in it so it makes sense to cut the carbs or eat low carbs food for weight loss.

Yes, a low-carb diet is good for weight loss for the initial months. Long-term weight loss effects still need more studies.

A healthy adult diet must include 45% to 65% of carbs that is 200 to 300 mg per day.

A low-carb diet has been a strategy for weight loss since 1972. As per the studies, low carbohydrates reduce the overall intake of carbohydrates.

A Low-carb diet helps in:

1. Increases satiety, and reduces hunger.

2. Produces higher metabolic rate.

3. Less rebound hypoglycemia.

4. Decrease overall food intake.

Remember- “A calorie is a calorie” and overall weight management determines your body weight. 

 As you lower your carbs, fat, and protein intake increases. Yes, you are right about the ketogenic diet! It deserves a mention in a low carb diet. The Keto diet restricts the carbs to about 20 to 50 mg/day and it does increase fat consumption.  

9 Benefits of a low-carb diet

9 Benefits of a low-carb diet

1. Reduces overall carbs intake.

2. Produces higher metabolic rates.

3. Rapid reduction in weight.

4. Reduces your appetite.

5. Helps to reverse type 2 diabetes.

6. May decrease cardiovascular risk factors.

7. Ketogenic diet may improve- acne, PCOD, and Alzheimer’s.

8. Very effective for reducing abdominal fat.

9. Decreases blood sugar and insulin levels.

Safety concerns with LCD (low-carb diet)

Safety concerns with LCD (low-carb diet)

1. Reduced dietary intake of fibers, vitamins, and minerals.

2. Deplete the glycogen stores.

3. Short-term gastrointestinal symptoms-vomiting, diarrhea.

4. Mild impairment of filtration in women.

5. Increased inflammatory effects due to increased dietary saturated fats.

6. Risk of arthritis- Due to higher conversion of purines from animal proteins.

7. Financial implications- increased expenses of LCD.

8.  Impact on mental health and wellbeing- due to increased intake of fats, and proteins affecting immunity, metabolism, etc.

Points to be concerned

1. Mortality and cardiovascular safety

A high-carb diet is linked with cardiovascular diseases, while low mortality rates are associated with a low-carb diet in combination with a low-fat diet.

Therefore the thumb rule, the quality of food matters, not just the type of micronutrients. Though long-term effects are unclear, it is advised to follow a proportionate diet.

2. Lipid profile

Recent studies have shown a slight increase in LDL lipid (bad cholesterol), a remarkable decrease in triglycerides, and increased HDL levels (good cholesterol). This can vary from person to person as per their body’s response to diet.

3. Renal functioning

 Due to low-carb and high-protein intake, there are many concerns regarding renal function. This diet is not suitable for people suffering from kidney impairment, and hypertension patients.

Take-Home Points

  • Carbohydrates are the simplest and easiest form of available energy.

  • Manage your overall diet and do not cut macronutrients completely.

  • Opt for healthy carbs options for a healthy lifestyle.

  • If you have any disease conditions, always consult your doctor before starting any diet plan.


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