Is there such a thing as a good carbohydrate? Yes. That’s according to Barbara Rolls, chair of nutritional sciences at Penn State University. She says, a good carb is one with fewer calories per bite.
Say you're faced with a bowl of pretzels and a bowl of berries. They both contain carbs, because the natural sugar in the fruit is considered a carbohydrate, but the berries have fewer calories, more fiber, and are more nutritious, making them a “good carbohydrate.”
Basically, carbs, good and bad make up the majority of our diet. So when people try to cut out all carbs to lose weight, it’s not realistic. It’s completely changing the way you eat. And as we’ve said many times, if a diet is something you can’t sustain for a lifetime, you’re not going to stick with it. Dr. Rolls calls it the "what-the-heck effect." That's where a dieter can’t resist the food they’ve completely sworn off and go hog wild.
But we need carbs to keep our brain, immune system and red blood cell system functioning well. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel. So just be smart about them. Eat low-calorie carbs that have something else going for them whether it’s fiber, like in a whole grain, or vitamins, like in fruit.
You’ll be more satisfied, and it’s a change you can sustain without the “what-the-heck” effect.