The Real Story Behind Calories and Your Favorite Carbs

Believe it or not, calorie is not an evil word. If you’d like to improve your health or to lose weight, it’s important to understand the difference between good and bad calories. Once you’re able to make this distinction your nutrition will improve, therefore, your health will improve, and you’ll reduce your risk of chronic diseases.

Sounds great, right?
What is a calorie, anyway? It’s a measure of energy that’s generated from food once it’s inside the body. In weight loss/gain terms: the energy that comes in minus the energy that’s spent out equals weight loss or gain.

So what are good calories?

Carbohydrates (carbs) are considered to be either simple or complex. Carbs from fruits,carbs vegetables and whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, quinoa and oats are good calorie foods. They are complex carbs with 4 calories per gram, offering more nutrients, fiber and minerals for their calorie count.

Sugar or corn syrup are both considered a simple carb. Although they also offer up 4 calories per gram, they provide no nutritional value. They are bad calorie foods.

Basically you want unrefined or unprocessed carbohydrates, like the whole grains we’ve mentioned, vegetables, fruits and beans. Refined or processed foods, like white bread, will only spike your blood sugar and insulin levels, leading to an increase in fat production and storage. If there is too much of an overconsumption of these processed carbohydrates, diseases like Type 2 Diabetes can result.