It is not surprising to hear someone say that they are on carb-free or low carb diet. This is because carbs are thought to be a main contributor to weight gain, and some carbs are. There are good carbs and bad carbs, and both have different impacts on a person’s health and waistline. Telling the difference between the two can become quite complex, but it is important to tell the two apart. Carbs are a vital nutrient that provides energy for the body and the brain. There are simple and complex carbs, which both are converted to glucose during the body’s digestion process.
Simple carbohydrates are exactly that, simple. They are all single and double-chained sugars known as monosaccharide and disaccharides. They do not contain many nutrients or vitamins, and the body needs little energy to convert them into glucose. The glucose will reach the bloodstream quickly, causing a rapid spike in sugar. A person will have a sudden burst of energy, but then just as quickly feet fatigue and sluggish, once the sugar drops. These bad carbs pack an abundance of sugar and calories into the diet, without any real nutritional value. After consuming simple carbohydrates, an individual will feel hungry again soon after eating them. These simple carbs are causing an concerning increase of sugar into an individual’s diet, which can contribute to health issues and put them at risk for diabetes.
These simple carbs are found in white breads, starch vegetables and pasta, as well as baked goods. Another culprit for simple carbohydrates is soft drinks since they deliver a ton of calories and carbs without any nutrients. Added sugar is another simple carbohydrate that rushes to the bloodstream, causing an instant rush of energy. Individuals diets have a high increase of simple carbohydrates and not enough of the good carbohydrates known as complex carbs.
Complex carbs contain many chains of simple sugars; therefore it is not as simple for the body to break it down to glucose. When consuming complex carbs, a person does not get a sudden burst of energy as they do from simple carbs. Rather the complex carbs gradually break down into the bloodstream, providing them a steady supply of energy. Complex carbs also curb hunger, since they take the body a while to break down and provide higher fiber. For athletes that are fueling up on carbohydrates, complex carbs are the ones they want to be reaching for if they need to keep their energy up for an entire game or event.
Complex carbs provide the body with more fuel that will give it energy for a longer period of time. Some foods to get complex carbs into a person’s diet are nuts, legumes, whole grains and non-starchy vegetables. Though fruits are high in glucose, the ones with a low glycemic index are another great way to get complex carbs into an individual’s daily diet. Don’t be afraid of fruit. Fruit sugars are not seen by the body as the same as processed sugar like, white sugar and corn syrup.
By swapping out simple carbs with complex carbs, one can be on the way being healthier and weight loss.