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Simple Carbohydrates Vs Complex Carbohydrates

Dr. Vishal Dev 89% (3646 ratings)
Doctor of Naturopathy & Natural Medicines, DM - Clinical Haematology
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Agra  •  3 years experience
Simple Carbohydrates Vs Complex Carbohydrates

You need carbohydrates as they are the body's main energy source. Still, weight loss enthusiasts will keep claiming that you should avoid them at all costs. However, the truth is, you need to eat carbs, but you need to find the right ones.

It is believed that consuming complex carbohydrates is better than simple carbohydrates. But the problem arises when you need to differentiate between them, because nutrition labels on food items do not inform you if the carb content is simple or complex.

What are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are an essential component in various kinds of food. You may only relate carbs to bread and rice, but they are also found in dairy, seeds, sugary foods and sweets, fruits, legumes, vegetables, nuts and grains.

Carbohydrates are comprised of three elements that is starch, fibre and sugar. Sugar is a simple carb while starch and fibre are complex carbs.

Refined or Simple Carbohydrates
Simple carbs are easier to digest. Examples of simple carbs include:

  • natural sugar (desi gurh, desi khaand, desi mishri, desi kakvi)
  • high-fructose and corn syrups
  • brown sugar
  • sucrose, glucose and fructose
  • fruit juice concentrate

Simple carbs should be avoided as they lead to type 2 diabetes and other associated diseases. Here are some foods you must avoid:

  • soda
  • baked treats
  • packaged cookies
  • breakfast cereal

Complex Carbohydrates: Since they have higher contents of fiber and are slow to digest, complex carbs are the good kind of carbs. They are good for people who want to lose weight or are suffering from type 2 diabetes.
Fiber and starch make up the group of complex carbs. Fibers are good for your bowels and cholesterol. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains are excellent sources of fiber.

If your food has fiber in it, it will also contain starch. The only difference is that certain foods are less fibrous and more on the starchy side, such as potatoes. Whole wheat bread, cereal, corn, peas, rice and oats are also high in starch.

Choosing the right carb for you will take patience and time. If you don't mind some research and pay close attention to nutrition labels, you can start making healthier, and better, choices that will keep you energised, and prevent you from any chronic disease. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

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