Good Carbs Bad Carbs

Basically carbs are a category of molecules in grains, produce, dairy and sweets that occur in three key forms.

Sugars Starches and Fibre



These are the easiest to break down into glucose, a major fuel source. They exist naturally in food (Fructose in fruits, lactose in milk) but its added sugar you should worry about. Sweeteners such as table sugar and honey contribute to calories without other good for you components like fibre in fruit or protein in milk.



This complex form of carb functions in almost the opposite way from sugars- you cant digest it and certain fibres move slowly through the digestive tract helping you feel full shuttling some of your fat and slowing glucose absorption. Aim for 25 gms in a day.



These are also complex carbs, but not all starch is created equal. Take the starch in potatoes for examples, it is complex compared to sugars but still very easy to break down into glucose. Resistant starch found in beans, lentils and whole grains like barley and wholewheat is indigestible and functions like a fibre. Processing is a factor too. Refining of the whole grains is a process where the grains are stripped off their fibrous shell so they act more like sugars in the body. The key tip is to avoid refined carbs and seek whole grains.


More about Food and Carbs


Carb Group

Daily Goal

Tasty Food Ideas

Grains, Beans and Starchy Vegetables


5-8 servings (75-120g carbs)


1 cup cooked wholewheat pasta

1 small potato

½ cup cooked brown rice

1 slice wholewheat bread


Non-Starchy Vegetables

5-7 servings (25-35g carbs)

1 cup cooked sweet corn

1 cup cooked green beans

1 cup chopped tomato

½ cup cooked okra



3 servings (45g carbs)

1 small banana

1 small apple

I cup cantaloupe cubes

1 cup strawberries


Low Fat Dairy

2-3 servings (24-36g carbs)

¾ cup non-fat plain yogurt

1 cup skimmed milk

½ cup low fat paneer

2 table spoon cheddar cheese


Refined Grains

0-2 servings (0-30g carbs)

1 naan

1 small pav

¼ cup cooked white rice

1 slice white bread


Sweets and treats

1 serving (carb amount can vary)

1 brownie

½ cup chocolate ice cream

2 medium chocolate chip cookies

30g potato chips




Calorie Tip

Too keep off the kilos get up to 65% of your daily calories from carbs. Meat eaters can do with 45-55 % and vegetarians should shoot for 55-65 %.










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