Here are a few differences between complex and simple carbohydrates to help you understand what each is and what happens after we eat them. The main takeaway you need, is that the faster your body breaks down and absorbs a food, the less benefit we get from it. If we don't benefit from a food, we eliminate parts of it via waste, but mostly: we store it in our fatty tissue.
Complex Carbs Are Good!
Complex carbs are the ones that give your body the best fuel. They are usually found in foods that are high in fiber, so they break down more slowly, giving you a steady blood sugar level throughout the day and making you feel less hungry.
- Fresh fruit
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Nuts and whole grains
- Breads rich with sprouting and whole grains
Simple Carbs Are Not So Good!
Your body quickly breaks down simple carbs, giving your blood sugar a spike and sending you right back to the kitchen.
- Refined grains like white bread, white rice and enriched pasta
- Processed foods such as candy, cookies, and chips
- Sweetened soft drinks
In other words, and this is key: eating white bread or rice has the same impact on your body that cookies and chips have!
Good carb foods tend to have higher fiber and lower calories than many processed not-so-good carb foods. You'll find yourself feeling fuller while eating fewer calories.
Do you need to totally skip "bad" carbs?
No! You definitely don't HAVE to skip that cookie as long as it's not an every day treat. Try for once a week max, if you can. It will make that sweet treat all the more delicious if it becomes a Saturday thing!
Some fun facts, what's healthy and what's not!
Peanuts: Not so good for you. These aren't actually "nuts" exactly. They are not tree nuts, they are ground nuts, and are actually part of the legume family. They aren't the worst carb out there, and they do provide some healthy fat and protein, but if you are eating peanuts or peanut butter every day you will have a hard time losing weight.
Bread: Not all bread is bad! In fact, if you can find a sprouted grain bread or a gluten free bread you like, it's a great alternative. You can even find a whole grain bread that is also packed with seeds and proteins: that's a delicious and healthy alternative, and is entirely on the good carb side!
Broccoli: This one's easy. It's always good. It's a complex carb that provides fiber and is also jam-packed with nutrients and antioxidents. It's almost a superfood.
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