Question: What is the difference between simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates?
Answer: Simple carbohydrates are the ones that should be avoided. They are sugars that are converted too rapidly into glucose and absorbed by the blood. This gives us an immediate shot of energy followed by a sudden fall in energy. Simple carbohydrates include sweets like candy, cookies and desserts and also anything made with white flour, including sandwiches made with white bread, white rice, flour tortillas, etc. You may notice that after a lunch of a sandwich on a French roll, an hour later you suddenly feel tired. That's because white flour has almost the same effect on the bloodstream as straight table sugar.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are made up of starches and fibres, and break down into glucose very slowly. In doing so they can provide a consistent supply of energy for sustained periods of time rather than suddenly and all at once. Complex carbohydrate foods tend to be low in fat, high in fiber and loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.
Foods high in complex carbohydrates include:
Vegetables: In salads and soups as well as raw an cooked vegetables and potatoes
Whole grains: bread, pasta, cereals made from whole grains (not processed), brown rice.
Legumes: Fresh and dried beans peas and lentils.
Seeds and nuts: Eat in moderation because these are high in fat.
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