Complex Carbs vs Simple Carbs

bowl of oatmeal

You hear the term “carb” all the time and it’s important to know which ones are good to eat. Carbs are simple sugar molecules and are the most common source of energy. Many times carbs get a bad rap because of the low-carb diet trends, however, carbs are a good source of fuel for cardio workouts and weight training. The key is knowing which carbs to eat for fuel and which ones to stay away from.

Complex Carbs
These carbs are considered the “good carbs” (also known as unrefined) because foods containing complex carbohydrates maintain their natural water content, fiber, vitamins and minerals. They help you feel more satisfied after eating them. These complex carbs can be found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains.

Simple Carbs
The simple carbs are known as the “bad carbs” or processed foods. Foods containing these simple carbs have had the nutrition removed from them. Eating a lot of processed foods tend to leave you feeling unsatisfied and trigger overeating. This is due to the increased insulin levels needed to balance out blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels drop too low, it triggers appetite which then leads to overeating.

Our bodies have a limit on how much sugar it can store as fuel. Any extra sugar is turned into fat, thus the reason for putting on the pounds.

The Good Carbs to Eat
So which foods are considered good carbs? Just think of foods that are close to nature as possible and haven’t been altered (processed.) Examples include:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Whole grains

The Bad Carb Foods
When you think of bad carbs, think of foods such as baked goods and mainly foods that are white (flour and sugar.) Examples of bad carbs:

  • Most baked goods (cookies, cake, pies, etc.)
  • White bread
  • Pastas
  • Soda
  • Candy
  • Fruit juices (many contain corn syrup)

Choose your carbs wisely! Stick to natural, whole foods. They contain the nutrition you need and provide the energy that helps when you’re working out.

If you’re interested in learning exactly what to eat to lose fat the natural way – without supplements, without drugs and without slowing down your metabolism – while also learning the why behind it all, then Tom Venuto’s program could truly change your life:

Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle

[phpzon]carbohydrates, 2, Books[/phpzon]

Author: Eartha Haines

My name is Eartha and I created this blog as a motivational resource for myself to keep up with exercise and eating right. I enjoy reading, learning, and writing about all things fitness related. I hope that as well as motivating myself, others may find motivation to try fitness as well. Learn more.

3 thoughts on “Complex Carbs vs Simple Carbs”

  1. I really like reading your site, but I’m finding this article to be terribly inaccurate. Almost every line after the 1st paragraph contains an error in the facts:

    “Complex carbs also known as unrefined … foods containing complex carbohydrates maintain their natural water content, fiber, vitamins and minerals.” Not so. Fruits contain plenty of simple carbs, yet they are unrefined – plus they maintain their fiber etc pretty well. The refinement process of a food really doesn’t have anything to do with whether carbohydrate is termed simple vs. complex – it is a strict chemical definition (also there is an FDA defn) – complex: multiple simple sugar units.

    “Complex carbs are lower in calories”??? This is blatantly untrue. All carbohydrates are 4 (really 3.4) calories per gram!!

    “Foods containing these simple carbs have had the nutrition removed from them.” Again – fruits – simple sugars – no nutrition removed. And What do you mean by “the nutrition removed?” Boiling vegetables will cause the vitamins to leak into the water, but they still have fiber.

    I think you confused or perhaps simplified the terms simple, complex, refined, unrefined, good and bad carbs.

  2. Tanya,

    Thanks for your feedback! This article is by no means scientific. I mainly wanted to state the point that the bad carbs are usually the junk foods you find on store shelves (cookies, soda, etc.) and good carbs are the natural foods (fruit, veggies, etc.)

    I removed the statement about complex carbs being lower in calories (thank you.) By nutrition being removed in simple carbs, I meant that their (meaning junk foods) wholesome qualities are removed through the processing.

    Thanks again for your feedback. I appreciate it!

  3. Tanya,

    I understand your frustration with this article, but your lack of understanding makes you sound pompous and absolutely incorrect. Your only real point was fruits having simple sugars. Although this is true, the refinement part of the article implies this fact. You can, in fact, refine fruits to make them less nutritious(I should put a definition here in simple terms so you understand). An example would be dried bananas. Most of the time they are fried. Do I need to explain what this process does the foods nutritional value? Thanks for your feedback but look where you step.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *