Good carbohydrates are typically rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and have a low score on the glycemic index. This index rates foods based on their effect on blood sugar. The body processes low glycemic index foods more slowly, meaning a more stable blood sugar. Stable blood sugar helps regulate mood and appetite.
Though potatoes sometimes get a bad reputation for having a high glycemic index, a small potato serves as a great snack or meal addition. Potatoes contain 2 to 3 grams of fiber and about 100 calories. Sweet potatoes make an even better choice as they contain vitamins A and C and have a lower glycemic score.
Fruit & Vegetables
Though fruit contains fructose, a sugar, it still serves an important role in your diet. Fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals. They provide fiber and water and make an excellent replacement to the refined sugars found in candy, ice cream and other processed foods. The USDA recommends an intake of two to four servings of fruit a day.
Vegetables are equally rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber and contain very few calories. The USDA recommends an intake of three to five servings of vegetables per day.
While white rice, pasta, and bread serve as bad carbohydrates, whole grain versions of these food serve as an integral part of a healthy diet. For the healthiest option, chose foods as close to their natural state as possible. When possible choose brown rice, quinoa, and whole corn over more refined options such as bread, tortillas, or pasta. Whole wheat bread, brown rice or whole wheat pasta, and whole wheat tortillas still function as good carbohydrates and deserve a place in your diet.
Though beans, nuts and legumes are typically thought of as protein foods, they are rich in good carbohydrates. As an added bonus, most beans and legumes are rich in iron and fiber. Canned beans and dried beans provide similar benefits. For the healthiest choice, choose canned varieties without added ingredients such as lard. You can also consume fermented soy products such as tofu for a healthy source of good carbohydrates and protein.