Are carbohydrates bad for your heart? The short answer is “yes” and “no.” There are carbohydrates that are good for you, and others that are bad for you and your heart. The key is getting a healthy amount of the good ones and avoiding the bad ones. Some of the worst carbohydrates for the heart are found in some of the foods we love to eat the most. Making simple changes in the types of carbs you eat can make a world of difference.
The Bad Carbs
Generally speaking, bad carbs are found in foods such as white bread, white rice, white pasts and white flour. As you can see, there is a pattern to these foods–they are all white. These foods contain carbohydrates that end up on the high-glycemic list when it comes to sugars. These types of carbohydrates cause quick high spikes in sugar levels of the blood and can lead to a greater risk, over time of heart disease and heart attacks one study has shown.
The interesting part about that study is that it was not the amount of carbohydrates consumed, but the type of carbohydrates consumed that made the difference. Eating foods that are high in carbohydrates that have a high-glycemic content is what leads to a greater chance of heart problems. There are, however, carbohydrate that are not bad for the heart, and eating foods with those types of carbohydrates have not been shown to lead to heart problems.
The Bad Carbs You Didn’t Know About
Bad carbs, which fall into the high-glycemic index, scoring 70 or above on the scale, include some foods you may not expect to see on a list, such as bakes potatoes, brown rice and watermelon.
These foods, which you would think are good for you, can actually raise sugar levels in the blood stream and, over time, can contribute to heart related illness. This also leads to the body producing less insulin and slowing the digestion process. If the sugars are not properly digested they end up as deposits of fat instead of being used as energy.
The Good Carbs
While there are bad types of carbohydrates, there are also good types you can eat instead. These are the carbs that fall into the low-glyecmic index, specifically those which score 55 or less on this scale. Certain foods will fall into this more preferable end of the scale and those include:
- Whole Wheats
- Whole Grain
- Foods high in bran
One surprising thing is that pasta is better for you than rice in equal amounts, as it raises the blood sugar levels less than a baked potato or an equal amount of rice. These carbohydrates do not raise your blood sugar levels as much as the high-glycemic carbohydrates and are, in turn, are more effectively digested and used as energy.
Are carbohydrates bad for your heart? Yes, some are and those should be avoided as much as possible; however, not all carbohydrates are bad for you. Yes, a little confusing but, with a little attention to what you buy, you can make sure you are getting the good carbs and not the bad ones.