Carbs

Complex Carbs vs Simple Carbs

You are in for a treat – literally.

Carbohydrates are sugars that come in 2 main forms – simple and complex. You can also refer to
them as simple sugars and starches.

The main criteria of difference between carbohydrates are the time taken for digestion and
absorption and obviously the chemical structure.

What are Simple Carbohydrates?

Simple Carbohydrates are simple sugars. Simple carbs are fairly easy for the body to digest and
absorb. Simple carbs have simple chemical structures. Most of these carbs are processed in the
small intestine, where enzymes break them down into individual components. Our body then
converts these sugar molecules into glucose, which is used for energy.

A few examples of food containing simple carbs are as follows:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Milk

These foods naturally have a sweet taste but raise glucose levels also quickly. Most of these
foods are rich in micronutrients and dietary fiber.

Simple carbohydrates to avoid are the added sugar in processed foods like – sugary drinks,
syrups, cookies, diabetic or not. People must stick to eating whole fruits rather than fruit juices.
Whole fruits contain more dietary fiber and are good for your body.

What are Complex Carbohydrates?

As the name suggests, they are made up of longer, more complex chains of sugar molecules. It
takes the body longer to digest complex carbs than to process simple carbs. Chemically, they
usually consist of three or more linked sugars. Complex carbohydrates raise blood glucose levels
for longer and produce a more lasting elevation in energy.

A few examples of food containing complex carbs are as follows:

  • Whole grains
  • White Bread
  • Starchy vegetables like potato and corn.

It must be noted that all these foods are excellent sources of fiber. This fiber helps the body keep
the blood sugar levels from spiking too high and keeps the digestive system healthy. Processed
and refined whole grains must be avoided because they lack all the important fiber required by
our body.

Balance the consumption of Simple and Complex carbohydrates:

There is no one way of including individual items in your diet. When planning your diet for the
day/week, it is advised that most of the carbohydrates must be from natural, unprocessed and
unrefined sources. This will allow you to get the best of nutrients, high fibers and low calories. It
will also help you control the blood sugar levels and help you manage your diabetes well!