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Carbs: Simple vs. Complex

Hopefully by now you know that no and low carb diets aren't the way to go if you want to lose weight. You may drop pounds at first, but as soon as you start eating carbs again, you'll end up gaining the weight back. Also, let me remind you that not all carbs are bad. There are healthy carbs, full of valuable vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein that you should be eating.

In order to know which ones you should be eating, you need to know the difference between simple and complex carbs. To do so just


Simple carbs are mostly made up of refined sugars with very few essential vitamins and minerals. These carbs metabolize quickly, creating a sugar high and followed quickly by a sugar low. Enjoy simple carbs in moderation. Foods such as white bread, soda, candy, and foods made with white flour and white sugar such as cookies, crackers, pasta, and breads are considered simple carbohydrates.

Complex carbs are made up of starch and fiber, so they release gradually and provide our bodies with a steady source of energy. Foods such as beans, fruit, veggies such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, and whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat, and barley are complex carbs. When you eat them, they make you feel full and satisfied for longer, so you end up eating less.

It helps to be a label reader and look for foods made with whole grain flour, not enriched flour, and limit the amount of foods you eat that contain sugar.

Join The Conversation
AlexandraEva AlexandraEva 8 years
Carbs aren't "bad," but they're really not necessary. There is no such thing as an *essential* carbohydrate. Our diets these days are so high in them that our bodies tend to not be very efficient at burning body fat (stored energy) for fuel. At the end of the day almost all crackers are junk food (I would exclude the ones made from nuts/seeds). They don't have very much essential nutrition and people consume them just for the hell of it.
darc5204 darc5204 8 years
Fiona clearly didn't read the article. Veggies, grains, and fruits are carbs.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
I steer clear of the simple carbs. And way to go, FionaF! :)
FionaF FionaF 8 years
Frankly I hate when people is trying to preach against low carb diets. I've lost 40 pounds doing Atkins and I eat veggies, dairy, grains and some fruits. There's nothing good in flour and sugar.
MrsRachel MrsRachel 8 years
Its all about reading the labels. :-)
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I try to avoid refined carbs whenever I can. Most of my carbs come from veggies, fruits, whole grains, and dairy products. I don't eat any white bread or white rice and I don't eat a lot of foods with added sugars in them. Basically, if you eat mostly foods that aren't processed, you're probably doing fine. Lots of processed foods have sugar added in the form of either HFCS or cane sugar, so you have to read your labels.
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