Simple Carbs vs. Complex Carbs

Carbs are just carbs right? Wrong. Different carbohydrates have different effects on your body and could either give you that energy you need or just plain slow you down. So which is which?

Carbohydrates in general provide a majority of the “fuel” your body needs to keep going and doing so efficiently. What is important is the kind of carbohydrates you choose to put in your body and knowing the effect those carbohydrates will have.

    • Simple carbohydrates, like soft drinks, candy bars and donuts give you that brief “fix” of energy and then you’re tired again and looking for that boost of energy, so you grab something else that consists mostly of sugar and unhealthy fat to relive that ‘fix”. It’s unhealthy and unproductive in your quest to becoming a healthier, more energetic person. The other down side of simple carbohydrates is that for the most part they have no nutritional value, can cause quick highs and lows in your blood sugar levels and make visits to the dentist frequent due to your intake of sugar.
    • Complex carbohydrates consist of beans, grains and some vegetables that have nutrients in them such as B-vitamins, iron and fiber. Complex carbohydrates are more beneficial due to their staying power in the body and work as an on-going energy source releasing those nutrients throughout the day. Not only are complex carbohydrates beneficial for supplying “healthy” energy to your body, these carbohydrates can help regulate your blood sugar levels, help lower blood cholesterol and they don’t give you that “fix” and energy drop like simple carbohydrates do.

whole grain breads and pasta picture

So, in a nut shell, the best carbohydrates for you to have, which would be considered complex carbs, are the following:

  • Oatmeal (combining it with honey, yogurt and raisins not only gives plain oatmeal extra flavor, but also gives you added energy.
  • Bananas (having one/day limits and/or prevents stiffness that could come from having a sedentary job).
  • Beans (jelly beans don’t count in this food group)
  • Many veggies are perfect complex carbs!  They are high in water, low in fat, have lots of great vitamins and minerals. Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, potatoes, yams, corn, carrots, onions, all types of lettuce, celery, cucumbers, cabbage, artichokes and asparagus.  Yum yum!
  • Whole grains, which are high in fiber and they contain antioxidants similar to fruit and vegetables. Look for whole grain breads, pastas and rice.
  • Dried fruits like apricots, raisins and figs, which are low-fat and high-energy snacks. **Commercially packaged dried fruits contain sulfur dioxide-increases your risk of asthma, so be aware of the way you purchase the fruit.

Choose wisely and not just what looks and sounds good for that moment. Your body will thank you for it later and appreciate your decisions time after time.

Tags: , , ,

One Response to “Simple Carbs vs. Complex Carbs”

  1. Paga says:

    Nice article. I totally agree, I always try to avoid soft drinks, candies etc.

Leave a Reply