Simple vs. Complex Carbs - How They Affect Your Weight

Whole Grain Breads

If you've been working to lose weight, you've no doubt heard a lot about carbohydrates and some of it may be a bit confusing. Are carbs good? Are they bad? Most importantly, will they help you lose weight or cause you to pack on the pounds? It all depends on which type of carbohydrates fill your daily diet.

Carbohydrates essentially are sugars that come in two main forms - simple and complex, also commonly referred to as simple sugars and starches. The differences between the two are in the chemical structures and, more importantly in terms of weight loss, the speed at which carbs are digested by the body and ultimately converted into energy or fat.

Simple carbohydrates are those found in carbonated drinks, processed foods and sauces, cakes and pastries, jellies and jams and candies. Theygive these foods and drinks their sweet taste. Complex carbs are found in certain fruits and vegetables, nuts, oats, wholegrain cereals and breads and whole grain pastas.

Here's where simple vs. complex carbs matters in weight loss. Carbohydrates of both types can be stored only in limited quantities in the body. If they're not quickly used for energy via exercise or other physical activity, they're broken down and converted into fat. Simple carbs break down quickly, whereas complex carbs break down more slowly. The faster carbs break down, the quicker you'll gain weight. That's why complex carbs are recommended for those looking to lose weight. They allow you a bit more time to hit the gym and burn off some energy before those carbs become fat. Of course - it's up to you to get moving.

For more guidance on making healthy, weight loss-friendly nutritional choices and developing an active, healthy lifestyle, call 800-51-8090 and schedule an appointment with a weight loss counselor at your nearest Metabolic Research Center location.




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