Carbohydrates are an important part of any healthy diet and are the primary energy source for the body. According to experts about 50 to 55% of your total daily calories need should come from carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates can be either refined or unrefined. After processing the carbohydrates lose fiber and bran, and many vitamins and minerals. The processed carbohydrates are digested quickly, provide the same number of calories but they lack many vitamins and minerals. If you eat simple or refined carbohydrates your risk of obesity and diabetes is increased.
Carbohydrates may be simple or complex. The carbohydrates are classified as simple or complex based on their chemical makeup and how they are processed in your body.
Simple Carbohydrates in the Diet
Simple carbohydrates in the diet are easily digested. They have higher sugar content and are lower in fiber. Simple carbohydrates are not good for your body. It is important that you limit foods that contain simple carbohydrates like soda, candy, artificial syrups, sugar, white rice, white bread, white pasta, potatoes, pastries and desserts in your diet.
Fruits and vegetables also contain simple carbohydrates, but because of their high fiber content they are drastically different from other foods like cookies and cakes which contain simple carbohydrates. The fiber in fruits and vegetables slow the digestion of sugars and makes them behave like complex carbohydrates. In addition they do not provide empty calories as they are rich in minerals and vitamins.
Complex Carbohydrates in the Diet
Complex carbohydrates are considered "good" for the body because of their complex structure. Owing to their complex structure the body takes more time to break them down and digest. The blood sugar rises slowly after eating complex carbohydrates.
When you choose foods rich in carbohydrates some simple substitutions like eating brown rice instead of white rice, whole-wheat pasta instead of plain white pasta can make your diet healthy. When buying packaged food pay attention to the ingredient like if it contains simple or complex carbohydrates.
Remember that if you consume more carbohydrates than you need, then it is converted to fat in the body. This increases your risk of obesity. Be sensible in the carbohydrates you eat. Avoid foods that contain simple carbohydrates. Prefer foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables that give your body the energy it needs and are rich in minerals and vitamins.