Complex Carbohydrates VS Simple

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Answers to Diet Bites Health Quiz: Carbohydrates: CORRECT!

Choosing Complex Carbs Over Simple for Healthier Benefits

Carbohydrates are filling which is a must for any dieter. They are like any other food category; they should be enjoyed in moderation. Particularly when it involves simple varieties.

The Simple Carbohydrates

These include foods which are aggressively refined. You will often find them in a bakery. Pies, cakes, cookies, candy, white breads - including specialty breads prepared with all-purpose flour.

Even when healthy ingredients are added - such as fresh apples to pies and oats, nuts and raisins to cookies, these foods are still classified as simple carbohydrates. They are packed with sugar and lack whole grain elements.

Sure, the healthy ingredients will increase nutritional values - so if you much enjoy a cookie, one packed with nuts, oats and raisins makes a better choice over a plain sugar cookie.

The Complex Carbohydrates

There are two types of complex carbs - starch and dietary fiber.

A. Starch is broken down via the digestive process and then utilized by the body as a source for glucose. Starch is found in vegetables and breads. Examples include: potatoes, dry beans, corn, and peas.

B. Dietary fiber is commonly listed on food labels as soluble or insoluble fiber. It is found in fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods. These include oatmeal, oat bran, nuts, seeds, almost all fruits and vegetables, dried peas and beans, whole wheat bread, barley, brown rice, couscous, bulgur, whole grain cereals, wheat bran and seeds.

Soluble Fiber Foods

Oats, oat bran, dried beans and peas, nuts, seeds and most fruits such as blueberries, pears, strawberries and apples.

Insoluble Fiber Foods

Bulgur, whole grain cereals, wheat bran, couscous, seeds, most vegetables, fruits, barley, and whole grain bread.

Why Carb-Restricted Diets Render Quick 'Weight' Loss

So what is the purpose of carbohydrates in the daily diet? Can restricting carbohydrates in my daily diet render successful weight loss results?

First let's tackle the area of low carb and carbohydrate restricted diet plans that are used to achieve quick weight loss results.

Why do dieters lose so much weight at the beginning of a carb restricted diet plan?

Because carbohydrates act like a sponge within the body and hold water weight.

Initial Weight Loss on Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet Plans is Water, Not Fat Loss

But is the weight loss permanent? Unfortunately no. The initial form of weight that is lost is typically related to water weight rather than fat loss. Shortly after the low carb diet has ended, weight swiftly returns as carbohydrates are entered freely back into the daily diet.

Do Carbohydrates Contribute to Obesity?

Many people have asked if carbs contribute to obesity. This is the case only when caloric intake exceeds caloric needs. So no, carbs do not make an individual fat. Unwise food choices don't even make an individual fat unless they exceed their caloric needs.

Low carb diets tend to concentrate on meat and eggs, therefore the controversy about the risks surrounding these diet plans. Meat and eggs have long-been connected to heart issues and circulatory health woes due to cholesterol build-up within the arteries.

While a severely carb-restricted diet would be rarely recommended by a doctor, a diet that restricts certain types of carbohydrates in the daily diet can benefit almost everyone's health.

Carbs Can be Sources of Unhealthy Fats, Such as Trans Fat & Saturated

These types of carbs are typically referred to as 'bad carbs' and include the foods containing simple sugars, and are loaded with fat: doughnuts, pastries, cookies, cakes, pies, candy. Limiting these high-fat, high-calorie foods can assist greatly in better health and weight loss - as well as weight maintenance.

As to the good carbs, those include whole grain choices such as whole grain pasta, wild rice, and whole grain breads.

Purpose of Carbohydrates in the Human Body

What do carbohydrates do for our body? They provide essential energy to the body.

Carbohydrates regulate blood glucose - just one reason why it's vital for diabetics to consult their doctor before attempting a carb restricted diet.

Carbs assist in breaking down the fatty acids in the body.

Depending upon the food they may add nutrients and necessary dietary fiber.

Negative Health Impact of Restricting Carbohydrates in the Daily Diet

A diet that restricts carbohydrates is a fad diet and fad diets very rarely work to render permanent weight loss success; as referenced, pounds that are lost in this type of fad plan tend to quickly return to the body after the plan ends as true fat loss was not obtained, rather water weight loss.

The yo-yo dieting impact is never a good thing for the body as it experiences ups and downs in weight - forcing it to continually struggle to put the body into balance.

Individuals who have certain hidden health issues, particularly those involving the urinary tract and heart, are placed at extreme risk for suffering long-term negative impacts from the fad diet, including risk for death.

In Conclusion

Bottom line: seek a professional doctor's recommendations before trusting in a fad plan that may leave you in the emergency room or even worse.


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