A Simple Guide to Simple and Complex Carbs

Bowl of Grains

If you're looking to slim down, then it's important that you know whether the foods and drinks that make up your daily diet contain simple or complex carbohydrates. Theseorganic compounds are stored in the body until they're used as energy or broken down and converted to fat. The difference in the way the body uses these carbs can make the difference in meeting or missing your weight loss goals.

Your body breaks down simple carbs and converts them to fat quickly, whereas complex carbs are broken down at a far slower rate. They can make you feel fuller and boost your energy levels, helping you to lose weight. To help determine whether your daily diet is on a good carb track,Metabolic Research Center offers this cheat sheet of the most common foods containing simple and complex carbs.

Foods with Simple Carbs:

  • Baked goods (including bread) made with white flour
  • Cake
  • Candy and candy bars
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Chocolates
  • Cookies
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit preserve or jams
  • Fudge
  • Honey
  • Milk - whole or two-percent
  • Most packaged cereals
  • Pasta made with white flour
  • Table sugar
  • Full fat yogurt

Foods with Complex Carbs:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Black currents
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Brown rice
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Buckwheat and buckwheat bread
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Dill pickles
  • Dried apricots
  • Eggplant
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Grapefruit
  • Kidney beans
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons
  • Lentils
  • Lettuce
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Lychee
  • Melons
  • Multi-grain breads
  • Museli
  • Navy beans
  • Oat bran breads and cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pinto beans
  • Plums
  • Potatoes
  • Prunes
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Skim milk
  • Spinach
  • Split peas
  • Soybeans
  • Soy milk
  • Strawberries
  • Turnip greens
  • Wild rice
  • Watercress
  • Whole barley
  • Whole meal breads
  • Whole meal flour
  • Whole meal pasta
  • Yam
  • Zucchini

To further help you meet and maintain your weight loss goals, Metabolic Research Center can design a customized nutrition and exercise plan tailored for your particular lifestyle and health goals. Call 800-501-8090 to schedule an appointment at the MRC location nearest you.


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