Carbohydrates Can Be Complex
Where Can I Find Complex Carbohydrates ?
Look to replace simple carbs with complex carbohydrates. Here are some foods to remember:
Bad Idea - Foods Loaded With Simple Carbs:
- White bread
- Table sugar
Good Idea - Foods Loaded With Complex Carbs:
- Whole-wheat pasta
- Brown rice
- Bran cereals
- Whole-wheat bread
Carbohydrates Are Essential
Over the past ten years, “carbs” have gotten a bad reputation with popular diets like the Atkins diet. While too many carbs can lead to weight gain, carbohydrates remain an essential part of a healthy diet. The key is to focus on certain “good” carbs: complex carbs and fiber.
What are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are the body's main sources of energy. They are made up of sugar molecules, hydrogen, oxygen, and tiny unions of carbon that your digestive system breaks down into glucose (sugar). The glucose is used as fuel for the body.
Not All Sugar is Created Equal: Simple versus Complex Carbs
There are two types of carbohydrates: complex carbs and simple carbs. The main difference between complex carbs and simple carbs is that complex carbs pass through the body more slowly than the simple kind--requiring more energy to be converted into glucose. Why does this matter? Well, the rapid absorption of simple carbs often means that they're quickly converted into fat. Complex carbs, on the other hand, give your body more time to burn the calories. This provides your body with a steadier source of energy; it keeps your blood sugar level from spiking and then plumeting; and after eating, it leaves you feeling full for a longer period of time. The bottom line: you want to be eating complex carbohydrates.
A Special Carbohydrate: Fiber
Fiber is an exceptional carbohydrate becuase it can't be broken down by your body. This means that fiber passes through the body undigested, providing a different 'nutritional' benefit: Fiber helps clean your digestive system. If you want to improve your regularity for going to le toilette, then increase your fiber intake.
How Many Carbohydrates Should I Eat?
Opinions vary as to exactly how many carbs in your diet is a good thing, but a reasonable goal, according to the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences, is to make between 45 to 60 percent of what you eat, or about 5 to 7 servings a day, complex carbohydrates. You can find complex carbohyrdrates in foods such as vegetables, whole wheat breads, rice, cereals and pasta.
Next, we'll cover why it's so important to eat the "good" kind of fat...