Simple and Complex Carbohydrates

Apr 28, 2017

Which Carbs are good for me?

 

Previously in the Chris’ Gym blog, we established that carbohydrates are your body’s primary fuel source, and they’re an integral part of a healthy diet.  However, not all carbohydrates were created equally.  When considering which carbohydrates to incorporate into your meals, there are three categories a food item could fall into.  Let’s break carbohydrates down into two categories: Simple and complex.

 

Simple Carbohydrates

 

Simple carbs are high GI (Glycemic Index, which interprets how quickly a carbohydrate makes our blood sugar level rise) and therefore are low in nutritional value. They are also high in simple-to-digest, basic sugars, that make them initially taste great but leave you feeling worse off later on.  Some examples of simple carbohydrates include white rice, white bread, white pasta, sweets, pastry, sugars, artificial syrups, and soft drink, just to name a few.

 

When you’re at the supermarket and deciding which items to grab off the shelf, definitely check the nutrition label found on the back to see what portion of the carbohydrate count is made up of sugars. Sugars will be straight under carbohydrates in the list.) If more than half of the total carbohydrates are made up of sugar, it’s probably best to pass, as poor quality food has no place in your diet or your body! 

 

In summary, when it comes to simple carbohydrates, its best to limit your intake but still allow for indulgence here and there by planning ahead.  Remember, you can still treat yourself occasionally and lose weight! On birthdays, at wedding or another special occasion. But remember the operative word is occasional here.

 

Complex Carbohydrates

 

Complex carbohydrates have a lower GI and feature a longer series of sugars that make them up. These complex carbohydrates requires more time and effort from your body to break down and digest.  This usually means that complex carbohydrates will make you feel fuller for longer, which is great for your daily energy levels and helps keep hunger off your mind.  Additionally, complex carbs are usually less processed and contain less artificial additives than simple carbs.

 

Complex carbs that you can start eating to boost your vitamin, minerals and fiber intake include vegetables, brown rice, wholegrain bread, beans, peas, oats, quinoa, sweet potato and legumes.  

 

When looking at ways to initially improve your health and in turn improve your ability to lose weight and keep it off. A great way to start would be replacing your simple carbohydrate intake, with complex carbohydrates. And only eating the simple variety very occasionally. For example, staying away from really refined white bread and pasta and opting for wholegrain in both of these. Doing this will reduce the low quality food entering your body and also reduce your chances of overeating as you’ll be feeling fuller when eating healthier, more wholesome foods.

 

So I hope this has cleared a few things up and given you something to think about without overloading you with information. Always remember you can talk to your trainer about any of this at any time. They will be happy to help.Which Carbs are good for me?

 

Previously in the Chris’ Gym blog, we established that carbohydrates are your body’s primary fuel source, and they’re an integral part of a healthy diet.  However, not all carbohydrates were created equally.  When considering which carbohydrates to incorporate into your meals, there are three categories a food item could fall into.  Let’s break carbohydrates down into two categories: Simple and complex.

 

Simple Carbohydrates

 

Simple carbs are high GI (Glycemic Index, which interprets how quickly a carbohydrate makes our blood sugar level rise) and therefore are low in nutritional value. They are also high in simple-to-digest, basic sugars, that make them initially taste great but leave you feeling worse off later on.  Some examples of simple carbohydrates include white rice, white bread, white pasta, sweets, pastry, sugars, artificial syrups, and soft drink, just to name a few.

 

When you’re at the supermarket and deciding which items to grab off the shelf, definitely check the nutrition label found on the back to see what portion of the carbohydrate count is made up of sugars. Sugars will be straight under carbohydrates in the list.) If more than half of the total carbohydrates are made up of sugar, it’s probably best to pass, as poor quality food has no place in your diet or your body! 

 

In summary, when it comes to simple carbohydrates, its best to limit your intake but still allow for indulgence here and there by planning ahead.  Remember, you can still treat yourself occasionally and lose weight! On birthdays, at wedding or another special occasion. But remember the operative word is occasional here.

 

Complex Carbohydrates

 

Complex carbohydrates have a lower GI and feature a longer series of sugars that make them up. These complex carbohydrates requires more time and effort from your body to break down and digest.  This usually means that complex carbohydrates will make you feel fuller for longer, which is great for your daily energy levels and helps keep hunger off your mind.  Additionally, complex carbs are usually less processed and contain less artificial additives than simple carbs.

 

Complex carbs that you can start eating to boost your vitamin, minerals and fiber intake include vegetables, brown rice, wholegrain bread, beans, peas, oats, quinoa, sweet potato and legumes.  

 

When looking at ways to initially improve your health and in turn improve your ability to lose weight and keep it off. A great way to start would be replacing your simple carbohydrate intake, with complex carbohydrates. And only eating the simple variety very occasionally. For example, staying away from really refined white bread and pasta and opting for wholegrain in both of these. Doing this will reduce the low quality food entering your body and also reduce your chances of overeating as you’ll be feeling fuller when eating healthier, more wholesome foods.

 

So I hope this has cleared a few things up and given you something to think about without overloading you with information. Always remember you can talk to your trainer about any of this at any time. They will be happy to help.



Category: Healthy Eating

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