How to Know Which Carbs are Bad

Let's review your doubts about carbohydrates. We are going to analyze whether they really are an unhealthy nutrient or if that's just a myth. 
How to Know Which Carbs are Bad

Last update: 10 January, 2019

Carbohydrates are, out of all the nutrients, the most controversial. Moreover, people who want to lose weight usually have several doubts about this food group and their benefits.

In general, people who want to lose weight eliminate carbs from their diets completely, but are they really that bad? On the other hand, athletes only consume carbs during certain hours of the day and depending on the demands of their exercise schedule.

The importance of carbs

Carbohydrates are one of the most important nutrients for the body to function properly. Thanks to carbs we can sustain enough energy to stay active and complete our daily activities. In addition, they have all of the following benefits:

  • Satiating. Many believe that carbohydrates contribute to weight gain, but, it’s actually the opposite. A breakfast that’s rich in carbs will keep you satiated and reduce hunger pangs until your next meal. 
Quick and healthy breakfasts.
  • Great source of fiber. From all the carbohydrates, we suggest that you choose whole grain products, which contain the fiber-rich layers of the grains. Fiber improves bowel movements and eases digestion.
  • Carbs improve the functioning of the immune system. Carbohydrates contain glucose, which is necessary for the correct functioning of the brain. That’s why they’re also recommended for students or older people.
  • They contribute to muscle recovery. People who exercise regularly, frequently consume carbs. In addition to providing energy and promoting better performance, they contribute to faster muscle recovery.

After knowing all the benefits of consuming carbs, it becomes more evident that they’re necessary for your health. In other words, it’s not completely true that they’re unhealthy. 

But it doesn’t end here, so keep reading to find out what carbs you should avoid. As you’ll realize, there are some exceptions; not all carbohydrates are healthy nor do they all provide the aforementioned benefits.

Are all carbs equal?

Carbs are not all the same. That’s why we can’t say that they’re entirely bad or good. You must learn to differentiate the various types, know which are healthy and which aren’t, and how much of each you should eat.

Fruit-based recipe.

The first two categories of carbohydrates are:

  • Simple carbohydrates. In this group, we have carbs that are found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy.
  • Complex carbohydrates. Fiber-rich and starchy foods.

These are healthy foods that experts actually recommend. Plus, they are great sources of vitamins and minerals, which means that we should eat them every day.

The problem is that there’s a third group of carbs that are very unhealthy. This group is called refined carbohydrates and includes ultra-processed foods such as fast food, salty snacks or desserts. The foods from this group should be avoided, due to their high contents of sugar and fat.


Returning to the question that we asked at the beginning, and after understanding the health benefits of carbs, it’s been demonstrated that carbs are healthy and safe to eat. Just as we’ve stated in other articles, our bodies need the intake of all groups of nutrients to function properly.

The only points you must keep in mind is that not everyone can eat the same amounts and there must be a balance between what you eat and the calories you burn. The carbs you eat should depend on the amount of exercise you do and your lifestyle in general. Finding a balance will help you reach your ideal weight.

Lastly, remember that refined foods are associated with huge quantities of fat and sugar, and these are the carbs that you must avoid. Just because this group of carbohydrates is unhealthy, we shouldn’t assume that all carbs are bad. 





This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.