Food

Spot the Difference: Simple vs. Complex Carbs

April 21, 2016

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Everyone knows about carbohydrates’ infamy.

They’re terrible if you want to lose weight. They’re good for nothing. They’re just filling with no nutritional value.

THIS IS ALL WRONG.

*mind = blown*

 

Carbohydrates are actually just a macronutrient that is made into glucose and then energy in your body.

Along with protein and fats, carbs are one of the three macronutrients. There are also simple vs. complex carbs. But before we get into all that, let’s chat about carbs even are and why they’re not the terrifying monsters that Mean Girls makes them look like.

 

WHAT CARBS ARE

-macro-nutrient

– turned into glucose and then energy

– made of fibre, starch and sugar

– simple and complex kinds

– found in bread, sugar, nuts and vegetables

As you can see, carbs aren’t actually only found in starchy food that we generally think of. Also, carb-o-loading (the art of eating a bunch of carbs before a race or tough workout), isn’t actually thing. But that’s a post for another time.

Now, as for simple vs complex carbs.

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I used to think that obviously simple carbs were better because they sound purer and must be better. I also didn’t know what a simple vs complex carb was. Hint: I was very wrong and complex carbs are simply all around better.

 

SIMPLE CARBS

-just one or two sugar molecules

-quick energy, rapidly digested

-basically just sugars (raw sugar, fruit juice concentrate)

-found in cookies, pie, soda, etc.

Simple carbs are pretty much what pop culture wants you to believe about carbs. They’re fatty and pretty bad for you in bulk. But they’re not allllllll terrible. Simple carbs are great if you need a quick energy boost because they’re so easily and quickly digested. They’re also important for people with blood sugar problems to help them.

COMPLEX CARBS

– aka. non-refined carbs

-sugar molecules in long chains

-high in fibre (digested more slowly)

-fibre kind (fruit, veg, nuts)

– starch kind (oats, rice)

-found in broccoli, apples, quinoa, kidney beans

Complex carbs are the ones you really want to eat. They lead to a healthy diet and keep you much fuller for longer because of all their fibre and because they’re digested more slowly.

So when it comes down to simple vs complex carbs, you need complex carbs because they give you more energy without a crash, aid digestion because #fibre, are great for metabolism and even help with sleep, brain function and your nervous system. You should also check out this guide about how to count carbs to help you stay healthier!

 

So overall, clearly not all carbs are created equal.

In the simple vs complex carbs race, I declare complex carbs the winner.

Did you know the difference? What’s your favourite complex carb??

 

 

 

Sources: HealthLine and One Green Planet

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