Complex vs. Simple Carbohydrates

Carbs:

Good or bad?

I absolutely hate this trendy idea that carbs are bad for you!
Just like everything in life, education, moderation, and understanding are the key. I’m going to break down the difference between “complex carbs” and “simple carbs” to help give you a better understanding.⁣

 



Carbs are the primary source of energy for most activities in the human body. After carbs are used for energy, they are broken down into smaller units of sugar. If the body doesn’t use or need them, they are stored in the liver and muscle, also known as “glycogen”. When you ingest too many calories, especially in the forms of sugars and starches, your body may reach its storage capacity for glycogen. If you eat more calories than you burn, your body continues to store the fat. ⁣

🍩 Simple carbs are made of just one or two sugar molecules - they are the quickest source of energy because they are very rapidly digested. Some food sources of simple carbs include sugar, honey, jams and jellies, soft drinks, candy, and donuts. These are the carbs that quickly add to your glycogen levels.⁣

🍠 Complex carbs are made up of sugar molecules strung together like a necklace or coil. They are rich in fiber, and more satisfying and health promoting. Complex carbs are also commonly found in whole plant foods and therefore are also often high in vitamins and minerals. Examples of complex carbs are green vegetables, whole grains, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes. ⁣

Our bodies are programmed to digest carbs, no matter which kind you eat. But which type of carb you choose and how much you eat of it will dictate how your body uses it. 🍩 🍠⁣


My advice? Steer clear of labeling foods as "good" and "bad". Knowing the intricacies of the macronutrient - for example, is it a simple carb or a complex carb - will help you to choose foods that align best with your goals, as well as start working against those guilty feelings that tell you you can't have certain foods.

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