HomeWellnessChildren’s HealthUnderstanding Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs – A Scientific Analysis

Understanding Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs – A Scientific Analysis

Understanding Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs – A Scientific Analysis

Are you confused with the on-going debate surrounding “good carbs” versus “bad carbs”? Rest assured, you’re not alone. This debate has created confusion among many individuals striving for a healthy diet. However, fear not! In this blog, we will explore the scientific facts behind carbohydrates and their significance in a healthy diet, debunking the myth of “good carbs” versus “bad carbs”.

Understanding Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, along with protein and fats, are essential macronutrients that our bodies need for proper functioning.  They consist of sugar molecules that provide energy to our bodies. Carbohydrates can be categorized into two forms: simple and complex.

Simple carbs are commonly found in foods such as sugary drinks, candy, and baked goods. These carbs are rapidly absorbed by the body, providing a quick energy boost. However, they can also lead to a crash in energy levels. Simple carbs consist of one or two sugar molecules that are quickly broken down by the body, thus providing that immediate burst of energy.

Examples of simple carbs include:

  • Table sugar (sucrose)
  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Corn syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Fruit juice
  • Candy
  • Soda
  • Baked goods such as cakes, cookies, and pastries

On the other hand, complex carbs are found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These carbohydrates consist of long chains of sugar molecules that take longer to digest, resulting in an increased sustained release of energy. Additionally, complex carbs are also higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals as compared to simple carbs.

Examples of complex carbs include:

  • Whole grains such as oats, brown rice, quinoa, and barley
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens
  • Fruits such as berries, apples, and oranges
  • Legumes such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas
  • Nuts and seeds such as almonds, chia seeds, and flax seeds
  • Whole grain bread, pasta, and crackers.

The Myth of “Good Carbs” vs. “Bad Carbs”

The concept of “good carbs” versus “bad carbs” has been around for a long time. It suggests that some carbs are better than others for maintaining a healthy diet. However, this oversimplifies the issue, as it is not the carbs themselves that are good or bad, but rather the sources from which they are derived.

For example, let’s consider a comparison between a candy bar and an apple. Despite having the same amount of carbohydrates, the apple contains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are beneficial for the body. The candy bar, on the other hand, is high in added sugars and unhealthy fats, which can lead to weight gain, diabetes, and various health issues over time. Similarly, a bowl of oatmeal contains complex carbs that provide a sustained release of energy, as well as fiber, protein, and other nutrients, making it a healthier choice. In contrast, a donut contains simple carbs that provide a quick energy boost, but also contains unhealthy fats and added sugars that can lead to negative health outcomes.

Research has shown that a diet rich in whole foods, including complex carbs, can lead to improved health outcomes. (1,2,3) A study (4) published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who followed a diet high in whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, had a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. In contrast, a diet high in processed foods, including refined grains and added sugars, was associated with a higher risk of these diseases. Reference: Healthy Eating Index and Mortality in a National Cohort Study,” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2013.

Sunrider® Products Supporting a Balanced Diet

Sunrider® offers several products that can help support a balanced diet, including Sunrider® Nuplus® and Sunrider® Sunfit® Protein Plus.


NuPlus® is a whole-food supplement that provides a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from concentrated fruits, vegetables, and grains. Its formulation incorporates herbal ingredients that are naturally low in calories, fat, and cholesterol, making it a great way to round out a meal or satisfy snack-time cravings. NuPlus® contains no added sweeteners, sugars, or fats and is full of naturally derived bioflavonoids, antioxidants, amino acids, and phytochemicals. Its ingredients, including Chinese yam, fox nut, lotus root, and soy protein, provide energizing properties, antioxidants, slower digestion of carbohydrates, and complete proteins, making it a handy source of nutrients that can be enjoyed as a beverage or food.

SunFit® Protein Plus

SunFit® Protein Plus is a natural formula that packs 20 grams of pea and rice proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and complex carbs into every serving. It supports energy, muscle growth, and recovery while satisfying hunger, and it can be enjoyed as a nutritious meal replacement or snack. SunFit® Protein Plus contains 20 grams of easy-to-digest, pure plant protein, no added sugar, dairy, artificial sweeteners, or chemicals, and is 100% vegan. Its neutral flavor complements any food or beverage.  The key ingredients include plant proteins with essential amino acids, coix fruit known for its digestion benefits, and bamboo fiber that supports digestion and appetite management. These components collectively enhance its nutritional composition.


In conclusion, the on-going debate between “good carbs” versus “bad carbs” oversimplifies the complexity of our diets. Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient for our bodies, providing energy and supporting various bodily functions. However, it is essential to prioritize the sources of carbs by opting for whole foods that are rich in complex carbs, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Research has shown that a diet rich in whole foods, including complex carbs, can lead to improved health outcomes. (1,2,3) As part of a healthy, balanced diet, it is essential to incorporate complex carbs from sources such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Sunrider® offers several products such as NuPlus® and SunFit® Protein Plus to supplement a balanced diet. Let us prioritize the consumption of whole foods and complex carbs to ensure that our bodies receive all the essential nutrients needed for optimal functioning.

Disclaimer:  Always read the product label – use as directed. 


For more wellness tips and nutrition guides, visit Sunrider Blog here.

Founded in 1982, Sunrider International is a world-class manufacturer of high-quality herbal products for health, beauty and home needs. Sunrider products are produced in our own state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to help you enjoy a healthy lifestyle by providing the right nutrition to people around the world and supporting health, balance and well-being based on the entrepreneurial expertise.


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