The difference between good carbs and bad carbs is very simple. Good carbs are in their original state, or “whole”, and bad carbs are changed, or “processed”. When a food is processed, it loses some or most of its fiber, protein, water, vitamins, and minerals. This makes it easier for the body to process, so you lose little or no weight while doing so.


Note: If a change is needed to make a food edible, changing it doesn’t make it “processed”. For example, a cooked sweet potato is not considered processed, even though it was changed from its raw state. 


Good Carbs (Whole)           Bad Carbs (Processed)

Orange                                    Orange juice 

Whole wheat bread             White bread 

Tomato                                    Ketchup 

Apple                                        Apple sauce 

Cocoa                                      Chocolate 

Mango                                     Dried mango 

Sugar cane plant                  Sugar 

Corn                                         Corn syrup


Tip: To know if a food contains good carbs or bad carbs, look at the nutrition label and check the fiber content. If it is high in fiber, then it contains good carbs. We will discuss what “high in fiber” means in more detail when we learn about “Reading a Nutrition Label.”

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