Complex Carbs VS Simple Carbs

November 01, 2018


Not all carbohydrates are created equal. Some are “good” and some are “bad”. The main difference is the nutritional value they bring to your meals.
“Good” carbs are complex carbs. Some of these can be Oatmeal, yams, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. Complex carbs take time to break down and keep you feeling full for longer.
“Bad” carbs are simple carbs, and are usually found in processed foods. Simple carbs break down very quickly, hence leaving you feeling hungry and wanting to eat more. Because you’re hungry, you’ll usually end up snacking more. Skyrocketing your calorie intake for the day through the roof and impacting your weight loss negatively. 
The body’s preferred energy is usually carbohydrates. It’s the primary fuel that gets us going throughout the day. Occasionally when we start restricting cab intake, or not eating our usual amount we can feel lethargic and depleted of energy. Eating too much can spike your hunger through the roof and set the mood for the rest of day of wanting to eat all day.
Foods high in carbohydrates can be: 
Sweet potato, brown rice, bananas, quinoa, yucca, legumes, etc.
Quality Carbs – Eating carbohydrates doesn’t mean any kind of carb. Clean high quality carbohydrates are important to support a sustainable outcome. You will lose all your gains from dirty bulking, but the nutrients in quality food will be absorbed and used accordingly.   
Fiber- Prioritizing high fiber carbs is crucial. Vegetables are a carbohydrate and eating an adequate amount of starchy nutrient dense carbs is important. Plus it will make you feel fuller quicker and for a longer period of time. Carbs help restore glycogen level from being depleted after an intense workout. Starchy vegetables are full in antioxidants too, fighting inflammation and replenishing muscles. 
The introduction of the Glycemic Index has been helpful to measure the rate at which some carbs form into glucose and enter the body. The Glycemic Index has proven that specific carbohydrates known as low glycemic (Complex) absorb quicker than some of the other carbohydrates known as high glycemic (Simple). Some examples of simple carbs can be: 
-raw sugar.
-brown sugar.
-corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup.
-glucose, fructose, and sucrose.
-fruit juice concentrate.
Complex carbohydrates take more time to breakdown because they have longer chains of sugar. This means that it has a more steady release of energy. Complex carbs are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Legumes, whole grains, and starchy vegetables are all examples of complex carbs. The carbs that should be present in our meals should mainly be these complex carbs rather than processed simple carbohydrates like pasta, white bread, candy and soda. Keep in mind though, we should add a healthy balance of naturally occurring simple carbs like: vegetables, fruits, and milk.
Fiber is a crucial part of a healthy balanced diet. It keeps you feeling fuller longer and keeps you regular. If you are eating whole foods, fiber content is high in the following foods: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. The average western diet comes up short from fiber; this is due to fast food, processed foods, lack of knowledge and no sense of mindfulness. Depending on your body type, the range for daily fiber intake ranges anywhere from 20-40 grams a day.
Sodas, or any drink sweetened with artificial sugars.
Baked goods. You can be eating a vegan, non gmo, gluten free, sugar free cookie…but it’s still a cookie!
White rice
Refined white bread and pasta
Sports drinks. Leading brand sports drinks are usually way too high in sugar content. Unless you are an endurance athlete that has specifically been instructed to use said beverage, you probably want to stay from them.
Carbohydrates are crucial when it comes to eating a balanced diet, when eating right amounts of course. As we mentioned before the “right” amount depends completely on your unique goals, training, and body type. Don’t buy some generic cookie cutter program; instead hire a trusted local professional to help you along the way. Remember to choose complex carbohydrates, and to avoid simple carbs. You can reward yourself here and there with a simple carb, but don’t go overboard. It’s a reward meal, not a cheat meal; you don’t want to be cheating yourself. 
A lot of this can be overwhelming to remember, but here are some more tips to break it down for you: 
- Vegetables are carbohydrates; you don’t have to stuff your face with brown rice and sweet potato all the time. Starches high in fiber can be a great break from the norm. 
- If you aren’t feeling full after your meals, eat smaller meals more frequently. Make sure your plate is packed with micronutrient dense protein and carbohydrate.
- If you were to ever “want” to reward yourself, or for whatever reason find yourself needing to eat a simple carb, be sure to eat it after you are done working out.
Results may vary.
 These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

-Schenk, S., Davidson, C. J., Zderic, T. W., Byerley, L. O., & Coyle, E. F. (2003). Different glycemic indexes of breakfast cereals are not due to glucose entry into blood but to glucose removal by tissue. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 78(4), 742-748. 
-Keenan, M., Zhou, J., Hegsted, M., Pelkman, C., Durham, H., Coulon, D. and Martin, R. (2015) ‘Role of resistant starch in improving gut health, adiposity, and insulin resistance’, Advances in nutrition
-Ivy, J. (1998). Glycogen resynthesis after exercise: effect of carbohydrate intake. International Journal of Sports Medicine, 142-5.
-Bazzano, LA, et al. Effects of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets: a randomized trial.Ann Intern Med. 2014 Sep 2;161(5):309-18.

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