What Makes a Carbohydrate Bad?

Content by: Guy Lawrence

Are Carbohydrates Healthy

By 180 Nutrition

Over the last century, along with a technology boom, there’s been a major shift in the foods we eat. With more and more demands now put on us than ever before, convenience has risen above nutrition. So for the greater good of mankind (well any one who reads this anyway) we’ve decided to delve into and philosophise slightly on carbohydrates over the coming weeks. Hence the technical term below:


  1. a proposition, or set of propositions, set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena, either asserted merely as a provisional conjecture to guide investigation (working hypothesis)  or accepted as highly probable in the light of established facts.


Every day we get bombarded with some form of advertising. You can’t even go in a public toilet these days with out a sales pitch staring straight back at you, with many many claims about that particular product/service. But the one thing we’ve quickly learned is that marketing is perception. Once your mind is made up, regardless of the quality of the product, it is perceived a certain way, and it takes a lot of convincing to change this. It’s clear to see many companies play on this big time.

Let’s take a look at the perception of food with marketing, and whether if a product is of quality or not:

  • Protein supplements: Big muscles, no effort required. Just buy and drink as much as you can.
  • Fat: Easy does it, don’t want a heart attack now do we. Must keep that cholesterol down.
  • Carbohydrates: As long as they are ‘good carbs’ right? Perception tells us that this is the case as long as they are gluten free, contain raw ‘organic’ sugar, are low fat or 97% fat free. Can I have the low-carb beer please? … ring any bells?

In our view, there’s way too much trust in the food products that we eat every day, simply because of what the manufacturer and their marketing team are telling us.

We don’t want to sound like we’re bashing carbohydrates, as they play their role in a healthy diet, just like fats and proteins. It’s just what the manufacturers do to the carbs, and who they hang out with that becomes the problem. The major ingredients and usual suspects being refined grains, vegetable oils and added sugar. This alone will impact your blood sugar levels and in turn your health.

So what makes a Carbohydrate bad?

Well, first of all, as we understand more on the effects that foods have on our blood sugar levels, we can begin to see more of the bigger picture on what carbohydrates tend to do in general to our overall body and weight control. But could there be more to it?

Then you got they’re friends who they seem to rub shoulders with… processed vegetable oils, salt, corn starch, preservatives and colourings etc.

And if it’s a low fat carbohydrate option you can guarantee it’s loaded with sugar!

If you buy low-fat products, ask yourself this:

  1. Are you buying them because they’re healthy?
  2. Or are you buying them because you perceive them to be healthy?
  3. Do you know if they are ACTUALLY healthy?

Stop and think about this for a moment:

  1. What are the overall essentials the human body needs?
  2. Would it be fair to say – Water, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals (not going into the finer details like trace minerals and vitamins A,B,C etc… but you get the idea).

So imagine if you were to get the required amounts of all these on a daily basis in their natural state, before manufacturing and processing which effected the composition of all these whole foods… what would your health be like then? Pretty good we’d imagine.

But with today’s fast-paced lifestyle and mounting commitments, it would not be the easiest thing to accomplish to say the least!

Processed food options now make up 70% of foods consumed in western society. This by default, and their inclusion into our diet now displaces more healthy options like fruits, vegetables, healthy meats and seafood etc, the staple foods of our ancestors.

So we’ll leave you with this:

  1. Is this a significant contribution to why people are running into health problems earlier in life?
  2. And, does marketing and perception tell us differently?


Guy Lawrence

This article is brought to you by Guy Lawrence. Guy is a qualified fitness trainer with over 10 years of experience in the health industry. Guy worked at the UTS Fitness Centre in Sydney Australia where he specialised in exercise nutrition and obtained his Certificate in Exercise Nutrition and Certified... Read More

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