What are “good” and “bad” carbohydrates pregnancy?

What are good and bad carbohydrates pregnancy?

Understanding the difference between simple (bad) and complex (good) carbohydrates will help you make sure your diet contains sufficient quantities of the carbs your body needs for sustained energy production.

Simple carbohydrates are easily broken down, giving quick-release energy. They raise blood sugar and insulin levels fast, but this is followed by a drop in blood sugar, leading to a physical need for yet more sugar to reverse the unpleasant feelings this produces (dizziness, mood swings, lack of concentration, irritability). Simple carbs include all sugar and sweet foods, sugary drinks and alcohol, foods made from refined carbohydrates, and many processed foods. Refined carbohydrates (white bread, white flour, and white rice) have had the fibre removed and thus some of the beneficial nutrients.

Some fruit, such as bananas and watermelon, and some fruit juices and smoothies, also have a high sugar content and give an immediate energy boost.

Complex carbohydrates consist of sugar molecules linked together and these take longer to be broken down and carried in the bloodstream because they require a specific enzyme to do so. This means that the blood sugar level rises slowly and energy release is slow. Then levels drop gradually, avoiding the blood sugar slump that makes people crave more sugar.

Beans, pulses, and fruit such as apples, pears, peaches, and plums are good sources of complex carbohydrates, as are starchy foods such as brown rice, and wholegrain bread, which have retained their vitamins and minerals along with their fibre.

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