Good and Bad Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats supply 90% of the dry weight of the diet and 100% of its energy. All three provide energy (measured in calories), but the amount of energy in 1 gram (1/28 ounce) differs:

4 calories in a gram of carbohydrate or protein - 9 calories in a gram of fat.

These nutrients also differ in how quickly they supply energy. Carbohydrates are the quickest, and fats are the slowest.

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are digested in the intestine, where they are broken down into their basic units:

Carbohydrates into sugars (Note: for energy)

Proteins into amino acids (Note: A large proportion of our cells, muscles and tissue is made up of amino acids. Amino acids play a key role in the transport and the storage of nutrients as well as healing wounds and repairing tissue, especially in the muscles, bones, skin and hair as well as for the removal of all kinds of waste deposits produced in connection with the metabolism.)

Fats into fatty acids and glycerol (Note:needed as building block of cell membranes)

The body uses these basic units to build substances it needs for growth, maintenance, and activity (including other carbohydrates, proteins, and fats).

By Adrienne Youdim, MD, FACP (and notes from Four Winds Nutrition)


Dark leafy greens (all types, such as spinach, kale, lettuce, arugula, purslane, and bok Choy)
Onions, Peas, Mushrooms, Asparagus, Artichokes, Peppers (all types), Cauliflower, Broccoli, Jicama, Celery, Eggplant.
Cabbage, Brussels spouts, Green beans, Garlic, Fennel, Radish, Sea vegetables such as wakame and dulse. Cucumber, Zucchini, Summer squash, Pumpkin, Sweet potato.
Root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips*
Winter squash such as acorn, Tomatoes.

Bad Vegetabbles carbs

* Higher glycemic (SUGAR) food eat in moderation
FRUITS (Good Carbs)

Berries, such as blueberries, acai, strawberries, and blackberries. Melons such as honeydew and cantaloupe. Tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango, and papaya*
Kiwi*, Tree fruits such as apples and pears. Citrus fruits such as oranges*, lemons, and limes. Grapes. Stone fruits such as cherries, peaches, apricots, and plums.

Bad Fruits carbs
Dried fruits such as raisins and prunes Fruit juice. Fruit leather


Quinoa, Whole wheat products, Brown rice, Amaranth, Millet, Sprouted grains. Whole oats, Wheat germ, Bran, Whole grain or sprouted grain bread products, Whole grain pasta, Low-carb pasta.

Bad Grain carbs
White rice, White flour, White bread, Breakfast cereal, Quick oats, Couscous, Pasta, Baked goods like donuts, cakes and muffins, Corn,


Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Brazil nuts, Pine nuts, Chia seeds, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, Macadamia nuts, Flax Seed, Pumpkin seeds, Unsweeted nut butter, Hazelnuts, Tahini.

Bad Nuts & Seed carbs
Corn nuts, Honey roasted nuts, Nuts with a sweet or candy coating, Sweetened nut butters.

LEGUMES (Good Carbs)

Peanuts, Cashews, Soybeans, Kidney beans* Lima beans. Fava beans*
Adzuki beans, Peas*, Pinto beans, Black beans*, Chickpeas.


Bad Legumes carbs

Sweetened peanut or cashew butter.


Water, Coffee (with moderation), Tea

Bad Beverage carbs
Soda, Juices, Sweet tea, Sweetened beverages, Beer

Whole milk, Cream, Cheese, Unsweetened yogurt, Sour cream, Butter.

Bad Dairy carbs
Ice cream, Sweetened yogurt, Skim, and 2% milk

Olives, Whole grain crackers.

Bad Snacks carbs

Potato chips - Corn Chips, Popcorn, Cookies - Rice cakes - Crackers, Granola bars

Mustard (unsweetened), Mayonnaise, Pickle relish (not sweet), Vinegar, Oil and vinegar salad dressing. Full fat creamy salad dressing, such as ranch, Snracha, Soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce.

Bad Condiments carbs

Low fat salad dressings, Ketchup, Honey mustard, Barbecue sauce

Aspartame** , Sucralose** , Agave nectar, Xylitol (Recommended)

Bad Sweeteners carbs

Refined sugar (white and brown), Corn syrup, Honey, Maple syrup
** Contains chemicals that may be harmful