Carbohydrates provide us energy and hence should form the main part of our diet. Here is a list of carbohydrates. Take a look at the list, and design a healthy diet. Let's see what is meant by complex and simple carbohydrates and which carbs should be present in a healthy diet...
Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals should be present in a healthy diet in correct proportion. Carbohydrates or carbs provide glucose which is used by body cells to produce the energy required for body metabolism and daily activities. Carbs contain different types of sugars that are converted into glucose during the process of metabolism.
They are classified into simple and complex carbs, depending upon the nature and structure of sugar they contain. Take a look at the following section which provides information on why you should incorporate complex carbohydrates in your diet.
Complex and Simple Carbohydrates
Carbs which contain one or two sugar molecules and are easily digested are known as simple carbohydrates while carbs which contain three or more types of sugars are known as complex carbs.
Simple sugars or simple carbs include glucose, fructose and galactose; table sugar, sugars found in milk, milk products, honey, molasses brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, foods like cake, pastry, biscuits, chocolate, etc.
Since our body can break down simple sugars easily, blood glucose levels get suddenly elevated. Elevated blood sugar levels drop down fast as well. Simple carbs are known for the instant energy they provide but they should be avoided as they lead to harmful fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Complex carbs are not easily broken down by the body. In fact, fiber is a type of carbohydrate which the body is not able to digest. Because of this quality, they are recommended by dietitians. Since complex carbs are not immediately digested, they offer steady and long-lasting energy.
They help maintain normal blood sugar levels. By preventing high blood sugar levels, they help prevent conversion of extra sugar into fat. Thus they help prevent fat deposition and promote normal weight and good body shape. Dietary fiber helps improve your digestive health.
Fruits and vegetables, food obtained from plant source is rich in fiber. Getting rid of digestive system problems helps improve overall health. Here is the list of complex carbohydrates.
List of Common Foods that Contain Good Carbohydrates
Potato, baked with skin
Apples with skin
Beans, Seeds and Nuts
Cereals, Grains and Pasta
Corn / cornmeal
Oats, rolled dry
Pasta, whole wheat
Rice, dry brown
Whole wheat bread
Low fat yogurt
If you are on a weight loss diet, you may want to avoid high carb foods. Lack of exercise and excessive consumption of high carb foods can lead to obesity.
The amount of carbohydrates in diet, required by a person may vary according to the age and lifestyle of the person. If you exercise regularly or if you exercise vigorously, you will need more carbohydrates in your diet than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Sufficient intake of complex carbs enables your muscles to work harder through a workout. Incorporating complex carbohydrates in your diet can help maintain your weight within the normal range.