Simple carbs and complex carbs have a lot to do with fat loss. A lot of the popular “weight-loss” books appear to do all they can to muddy the waters on the distinctions between simple and complex carbohydrates. It’s no wonder so many people are mystified. Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients (the other two are protein and fat) that supply calories in our diets. They are simple or complex based upon their chemical makeup.
- Both types have four calories per gram
- Both are absorbed in blood sugar. This is glucose. This fuels our bodies for work or exercise.
How do simple and complex carbohydrates influence fat loss or gain? Quite a few diet gurus have stated that carbohydrates are responsible for fat control woes. You may be right if you think carbs are making you fat, but for the wrong reasons. Most nutrition specialists are sticking to their proposal that calories from complex carbs dominate the diet. This is despite the negative media publicity.
All About Simple Carbs And Complex Carbs
Wikipedia defines carbohydrates as follows.
Chemical compounds act as the primary biological means of storing or consuming energy. Other forms are fat and protein.
What’s the simplest way to put this into layman’s terms? Carbohydrates are naturally occurring sugars that your body converts into energy.
Carbohydrates are the perfect energy source for your body.
These comprise naturally occurring sugars such as lactose and fructose. Also processed sugars like sucrose. Simple sugars convert to glucose. They enter the bloodstream soon after consumption.
These include potatoes, grains, and grain foodstuffs.
Carbs supply energy. Carbohydrate foods contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. All carbs consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Complex carbs usually have more fiber and have a more intricate chemical structure that takes longer to digest. Generally, we need more complex than simple carbs.
Simple Carbs And Complex Carbs – What Do They Have In Common?
The one thing all carbohydrates have in common is that they are all composed of one of three monosaccharides (mono – one, saccharide – sugar).
- Glucose, which has a chemical composition of 6 carbon, 12 hydrogen, and 6 oxygen molecules.
- Fructose, which has the same chemical composition as glucose, but in a different shape. When absorbed into the blood, fructose is taken to the liver, broken down, and re-formed into a glucose molecule.
- Galactose, again with the same chemical composition as glucose, however, this sugar is found only in milk.
Disaccharides are two simple sugars bonded together. There are also three disaccharides.
- Sucrose – Fructose + Glucose
- Lactose – Galactose + Glucose
- Maltose – Glucose + Glucose
Anything larger than a disaccharide, but smaller than 6 monosaccharides, is known as an oligosaccharide. Polysaccharides are starches.
Simple Carbs And Complex Carbs – Too Much Sugar!
American manufactured foods tend to be excessively laden with simple carbohydrates. They do not contain fiber. They’ve been pumped up with high fructose corn syrup. They’ve become too sweet to spoil. These foods have a high glycemic index. This is a measure of how quickly a given carbohydrate enters the bloodstream compared to an arbitrary standard.
Heated discussions about the “perfect carbohydrate diet” are regularly in the news. Proponents push carb consumption for fat loss. While their challengers argue that carbs are the reason that Americans are gaining so much weight. Some assert that certain carbs are “good” and others are “bad.”
What are bad carbs? Cookies, cake, crackers, potatoes, white rice, white bread, and pasta are all examples. They do not stick with you for long. You may feel hungry again soon after eating them. Good carbs absorb gradually. They make you feel full longer than bad carbs do. Good carbs are a particularly healthy option for people with diabetes since they tend to keep blood sugar at a steady level.
Simple Carbs And Complex Carbs – Carb Fare
Carbs have been getting a bad rap. Especially among people trying to shed a few extra pounds. However, this nutrient is very important to your health and well-being. Carbohydrates Break down into blood sugar (glucose). The only one that doesn’t is fiber. This has one main function: to provide energy for the body. It also has secondary functions, which include:
- Protein sparing – glucose spares protein from being used as an energy source. This leaves the protein available to build body tissue and perform other essential processes.
- Fat metabolism – carbohydrates help burn body fat.
- Adding flavor and sweetness to foods – sugars improve the palatability of food and enhance any diet.
You’ve probably been living under a rock for quite some time if you haven’t heard of Atkins or the South Beach diet. A lot of snack food corporations are even developing low-carb adaptations of their products> For example, Frito-Lay’s Doritos Edge and Coke’s C2. These include “half the sugar, calories and carbohydrates of regular cola, with all the great taste of Coca-cola.”
The Reality Of Breast Cancer And Carbohydrates
A diet high in complex carbohydrates such as legumes, fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains does not cause breast cancer. The media lumps highly processed foods, like sugars and refined flours, and natural carbohydrates, like starches, vegetables, and fruits together. This is creating needless alarm in their coverage of a new study. Entitled Carbohydrates and the Risk of Breast Cancer Among Mexican Women, the study, by Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, was published in early August 2004.