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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Simple vs. Complex Carbs

Y'know, with all the talk concerning low carb diet
plans sometimes we tend to overlook the real reasons
behind why a low carb diet works in the first place.

Here's an easy look at what carbs are and why they
affect us so much.


In a nutshell, there are two kinds of carbohydrates,
simple and complex. Some refer to them as bad and
good carbs, fast and slow digestion carbs and other
possibly confusing lingo. Here’s the scoop.


Foods with simple or refined carbohydrates most
often have a low nutrient content and a
high-glycemic index. They are quick to digest
and can cause blood sugar to soar then fall
dramatically within a short span of time.
In order to keep the body running more healthy
and stable, health advisors recommend that these
type foods be limited.

Examples of these simple carbs are white bread,
potatoes, bananas, and sugary treats like cookies,
candy, cupcakes and cakes, and soda beverages
like popular cola products.


Foods with complex carbohydrates contain
many nutrients and have a low- to
moderate-glycemic index. Higher fiber
content in these foods means slower digestion,
which is healthier for the body. And these foods
are considered good choices by health advisors.

Examples of these complex carbs are whole
grains, most fruits and vegetables. Legumes, plants
of the pea or bean family, are also in this category.


While studies like one from the University of
Arkansas for Medical Sciences in January of
2004 show that low-carb diets can help with
weight loss; the carbs need to be of the complex,
low-glycemic type.

Notable is that a total avoidance of the simple carbs
is not necessary, either. In other words a treat
now and then, in moderation (and approved per your
dietary advisor or in accordance with your health
practitioner), should be fine.

low carb diet


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