Not all carbs are created equal.
There are many different types of carbohydrate-containing foods, and they vary greatly in their health effects.
Although carbs are often referred to as “simple” vs “complex,” I personally find “whole” vs “refined” to make more sense.
Whole carbs are unprocessed and contain the fiber found naturally in the food, while refined carbs have been processed and had the natural fiber stripped out.
Examples of whole carbs include some vegetables, whole fruit, legumes, potatoes, and whole grains. These foods are generally healthy.
On the other hand, refined carbs include sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice, and others.
Numerous studies show that refined carbohydrate consumption is associated with health problems like obesity and type 2 diabetes. They tend to cause major spikes in blood sugar levels, which leads to a subsequent crash that can trigger hunger and cravings for more high-carb foods.
This is the “blood sugar roller coaster” that many people are familiar with.
Refined carbohydrate foods are usually also lacking in essential nutrients. In other words, they are “empty” calories.
The added sugars are another story altogether, they are the absolute worst carbohydrates and linked to all sorts of chronic diseases.