Carbohydrates, a nutritional energy source found in many foods, are an important part of a healthy diet—as long as you stick to the good ones. But what constitutes a good or a bad carbohydrate is “the biggest lack-of-consensus issue in the U.S. diet today,” Dariush Mozaffarian, associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, told the Chicago Tribune. “We don’t have a standard method for assessing their quality.”
Mozaffarian recommends assessing four factors: dietary fiber; glycemic index (how fast a food makes blood sugar rise); whole-grain content; and structure (intact versus milled or pulverized). Cheerios score well for containing whole grains oats, but Mozaffarian would dock the cereal points because the oats are pulverized. Steel-cut oats would be a better choice. He recommends pasta over potatoes due to pasta’s lower glycemic index.
Carbohydrates: The bottom line (HSPH Nutrition Source)