Whenever you ask someone when they are going on a diet what their plans are, the answer is always the same. They always say I am dropping carbs. That is a very broad statement as that encompasses so many foods and so many different types, from simple sugars to wheat. We need to learn more about the carbs that we need and those that we need to skip. The answer is simple and complex.
Carbohydrates are the energy source of your body and can be divided into simple and complex carbohydrates. The 3 main types of carbs are sugars, starches and fiber. Simple carbs are composed of basic sugars that are easy to digest and break down, and can be an important source of energy. Naturally occurring simple carbs are those such as fruits and milk. Processed sugars are those in candy, baked goods and sodas. Complex carbs are found in whole grains, legumes and starchy vegetables. They contain longer chains of sugar molecules. These take longer for the body to break down. Therefore the energy is longer and more consistent.
However, certain simple carbs are not all the same. Simple carbs from fruits are different to those from processed goods as the fruit contains fiber which slows down the breakdown of the sugar. Simple sugars to leave out would be soda, candy, cookies, pastries, dessert, iced tea, energy drinks, ice cream.
Complex carbs are considered better carbs because they take longer to break down which means less sugar are released into the system at any given point. Therefore your sugar levels will not spike and excess sugar will not get stored. The best types of complex carbs are whole grains such as whole wheat breads, pastas and flour, brown and wild rice, quinoa, barley potatoes, corn and legumes such as chick peas. Normally the higher in sugar the product is, the lower in vitamins nutrients and fiber it will be. These days the term glycemic index is used to show how much the blood sugar level will rise after eating a certain carb. However, fruits may have high glycemic index but are healthier for you then processed sugars.
So simply stated, all carbs are needed in certain amounts. But rather choose fruits for simple carbs and then whole grains and veggies for your intake of complex carbs. Again I will say it, always look at the label. Take into account the sugars and the fibre. Know what you are eating.