Advertisement
Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals should be present in a healthy diet in correct proportion. Carbohydrates or carbs provide glucose which is used by body cells to produce the energy required for body metabolism and daily activities. Carbs contain different types of sugars that are converted into glucose during the process of metabolism. They are classified into simple and complex carbs, depending upon the nature and structure of sugar they contain. Take a look at the following section which provides information on why you should incorporate complex carbohydrates in your diet.

Complex and Simple Carbohydrates

Carbs which contain one or two sugar molecules and are easily digested are known as simple carbohydrates while carbs which contain three or more types of sugars are known as complex carbs. Simple sugars or simple carbs include glucose, fructose and galactose; table sugar, sugars found in milk, milk products, honey, molasses brown sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, foods like cake, pastry, biscuits, chocolate, etc. Since our body can break down simple sugars easily, blood glucose levels get suddenly elevated. Elevated blood sugar levels drop down fast as well. Simple carbs are known for the instant energy they provide but they should be avoided as they lead to harmful fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

Complex carbs are not easily broken down by the body. In fact, fiber is a type of carbohydrate which the body is not able to digest. Because of this quality, they are recommended by dietitians. Since complex carbs are not immediately digested, they offer steady and long-lasting energy. They help maintain normal blood sugar levels. By preventing high blood sugar levels, they help prevent conversion of extra sugar into fat. Thus they help prevent fat deposition and promote normal weight and good body shape. Dietary fiber helps improve your digestive health. Fruits and vegetables, food obtained from plant source is rich in fiber. Getting rid of digestive system problems helps improve overall health. Here is the list of complex carbohydrates.

List of Common Foods that Contain Good Carbohydrates

Vegetables

Artichokes
Asparagus
Beets
Bok choy
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrot
Cauliflower
Collard greens
Corn, sweet
Celery
Cucumber
Green beans
Kale
Onions, raw
Peas
Peppers, sweet
Popcorn, air-popped
Spinach
Summer squash
Sweet potato
Swiss chard
Tomato
Winter squash
Yams
Zucchini
Potato, baked with skin


Fruits

Apples with skin
Apricots, fresh/dried
Avocado
Bananas
Blueberries
Cantaloupes
Figs, dried
Grapefruit
Orange
Peach
Pear
Plum
Raisins
Raspberries
Strawberries
Sweet lime


Beans, Seeds and Nuts

Almonds
Black beans
Cashews
Flax seeds
Garbanzo beans
Kidney beans
Lentils, red
Lima beans
Peanuts
Pinto beans
Pistachio
Pumpkin seeds
Soybeans
Baked Beans
Sunflower seeds
Walnuts


Cereals, Grains and Pasta

Bran
Bran cereal
Buckwheat
Barley
Macaroni
Corn / cornmeal
Oatmeal
Oat cakes
Oats, rolled dry
Pasta, whole wheat
Rice, dry brown
Multi-grain breads
Wild rice
Wheat germ
Whole wheat bread
Whole-grain cereals


Other Foods

Certain pickles
Low fat yogurt


If you are on a weight loss diet, you may want to avoid high carb foods. Lack of exercise and excessive consumption of high carb foods can lead to obesity.

The amount of carbohydrates in diet, required by a person may vary according to the age and lifestyle of the person. If you exercise regularly or if you exercise vigorously, you will need more carbohydrates in your diet than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Sufficient intake of complex carbs enables your muscles to work harder through a workout. Incorporating complex carbohydrates in your diet can help maintain your weight within the normal range.