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Team Simple Carbs VS Team Complex Carbs: Which One Is Better?

Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient, but some people have made them a villain when it’s really not. The catch here is to find the right carbs and not altogether avoid them. Well, the discussion around the topic – which one is better among simple and complex carbohydrates, is like a never-ending debate. If you are from that section of people who have just stopped eating carbs after reading articles about – Why carbs are bad for you or why you should stop consuming carbs on a weight-loss journey or simply because your friends told you so, this article is for you! 

Before decoding the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates, let’s understand the most misunderstood word in the fitness industry – carbohydrates. Well, carbs are mostly found in every type of food. Made of fiber, starch, and sugar, carbohydrates mainly provides most of your body’s energy. We generally associate carbohydrates with bread and pasta, but you can also find them in vegetables, nuts, grains, fruits and dairy products. 

Simple carbs foods

If you want to define simple carbs foods in just one word – it’s sugar! Anything sugary food simply means it is simple carbs. You must have frequently heard words like fructose, sucrose and glucose, right? Well, they are all a type of simple carbohydrate. Usually, It is best to avoid or at least limit the intake of sugary foods, fruits and vegetables also have some amount of simple carbohydrates, but they also contain a lot of essential nutrients, including minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber. Since simple carbs are made of short chains of molecules, they take less time to digest if compared to complex carbs; however, it also means that they provide short-lasting energy and produce a spike in your blood glucose. When it comes to simple carbs, the catch is to make the most out of it other than just consuming sugar. For example – If you wish to eat fruits, go for whole fruits rather than fruit juice; though both have an equal amount of sugar, the former has more dietary fibre, making it a better option. 

Which simple carbs foods you should avoid?

  • Sugary drinks
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Sugary syrups
  • Products with added sugar

Complex carbs foods

While simple carbs foods give you short-lasting energy, complex carbs foods raise your blood sugar levels for an extended period of time, thus, giving you more energy to get through the day. You will find complex carbohydrates in processed foods, but you will also find them in nutritious foods like; fibre is a type of complex carbohydrate and is excellent for your digestive system. Some complex carbs foods containing a layer of germ and bran are incredibly healthy, but some refined grains minus the germ and bran have a low nutritional value. 

Which complex carbs foods you should avoid?

One can avoid or limit the intake of refined grains such as white bread, white flour or white rice and go for the healthier option of whole grains like oats, barley, brown rice or buckwheat. That being said, if you are taking complex carbs foods or simple carbs foods in limit, it’s all good! 

Which one is better?

While simple carbs foods are best for that instant energy boost, complex carbs foods have a good nutritional value attached to them, so both of them have their own pros and cons. When choosing the right carbohydrate source for yourself, you need to see the overall nutritional profile of each food and then decide what will suit your body better. After all, nutrition is like – to each his own! 

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