Simple and Complex Carbs

Posted by on Jul 7, 2012 in Blog . Tips on Nutrition, Wellness, Fitness and More! | 3 comments

There are a lot of questions on what simple carbs are.  There are generally 3 categories these days which include; simple natural, complex, and simple/refined carbs. Well lets break a bit it down a bit first.

Good Carbs

SIMPLE NATURAL CARBS are easy to digest, taste great and have nutrients and we like them a lot. If you need something sweet grab fruit and not a refined carbs like cookies and candy. Fruit contains fiber which balances out its sugar content which makes that energy hit a little more slow-releasing and sustainable than a refined carb. You will fruit listed as a complex carb and a simple carb. Confusing right? I hear you. This is where simple natural carbs come into play. This is your fruits and dairy products. They are high in sugar but since they are also high in fiber and nutrients it falls into both categories depending on who you are talking to.

Fruits lower in sugar:

Berries, cherries, apples, pears, grapefruit, apricots, peaches, figs.

Fruits higher in sugar:

Melons, mangoes, papayas, pineapples (great for inflammation though)

COMPLEX CARBS stabilize blood sugar levels and leave you feeling satisfied longer!To keep it simple, green veggies, legumes and whole grain are complex carbs.  Legumes? What are those? Legumes are lentils, beans and peas, and should also be eaten nearly every day.

Highly Recommended Veggies- lower carb levels

Asparagus Escarole
Avocado (actually a fruit) Fennel
Beet greens Green and red cabbage
Bok Choy Kale
Broccoli Kohlrabi
Brussel sprouts Lettuce: romaine, red leaf, green leaf
Cauliflower Mustard greens
Celery Onions
Chicory Parsley
Chinese cabbage Peppers: red, green, yellow and hot
Chives Tomatoes
Collard greens Turnips
Cucumbers Spinach
Dandelion greens Zucchini

Veggies to use sparingly – High in carbs

  • Beets
  • Jicima
  • Carrots
  • Winter Squashes
  • Eggplant

Bad Carbs

Bad carbs are refined carbs. Look at your label. If the label lists sugar, sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, white or “wheat” flour, they contain simple carbohydrates. If these ingredients are at the top of the list, they may contain mostly simple carbohydrates, and little else. They should be avoided. If you must eat them, moderation is key and try to add in a protein or fiber to slow down the absorption.

  • Table sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice
  • Candy
  • Cake
  • Bread made with white flour
  • Pasta made with white flour
  • Soda pop, such as Coke®, Pepsi®, Mountain Dew®, etc.
  • Candy (yeah it’s listed twice)
  • All baked goods made with white flour
  • Most packaged cereals


  1. carbs are not useless. we need carbs to give us enrgey and help our brains function. the problem is ppl tend to eat way more carbs than they should. our plate should consist of 1/2 fruits and veggies, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 carbs, with a small portion of dairy. not an entire plate of pasta as many tend to do. and snacks should be healthy (apple, banana) not candy or chips. and drinking water and tea, not soda or sugary drinks, thats all ppl really need. its no mystery. and exercise 3x a week,

  2. i loved your website, it always help me when i want to understand more about some subject, thanks a lot for helping us to get this information. lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email

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