I'm sure you all have heard of simple carbs, complex carbs, "good" carbs, "bad" carbs... it all gets quite confusing, right? Truthfully, carbohydrates are not all that complicated.
Complex carbohydrates, which often times are referred to as "good" carbs, require more energy for digestion, which will in turn burn more calories than simple carbs. In addition, complex carbs will provide the body with additional vitamins and minerals unlike simple carbohydrates. They are also high in fiber, which has shown to reduce cholesterol levels, and keep you feeling full longer. Examples of complex carbs include whole grain products such as quinoa, whole grain breads, cereals, oats, and whole grain pasta.
On the other hand, simple carbohydrates, better known as the "bad" carbs, consist of simple-to-digest, basic sugars which provide little nutritional value to your body. To make matters worse, these simple carbs tend to raise blood glucose levels more quickly than complex carbs, making people more susceptible to diabetes. Examples of these simple carbs include fruit juices, soda, honey, candy, baked goods, and white bread.
As a general rule, the higher in sugar and lower in fiber that a carbohydrate is, the less nutritious the carbohydrate is for you. This is not to say that you cannot treat yourself to a baked good once in awhile, but that a majority of your carbohydrates should be whole grain, and therefore be complex. So next time you are ordering your favorite pasta dish, perhaps you can consider ordering it whole grain. You will feel better about your decision, guaranteed!
Have any more nutrition related questions or comments? Feel free to reach out to me, and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have!