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Complex Carbohydrates

Glucose is the body’s preferred source of energy and this glucose is obtained during the metabolism of carbohydrates which converts sugar into glucose. All carbohydrates contain sugar. Glucose is also the primary form of sugar present in may other foods. In most cases, the sugar will be digested, absorbed by the body and converted into sugar however there are some sugars that cannot be digested and these are known as fiber. Starch or complex carbohydrates are basically sugars that are bonded together to form a chain like structure.

The digestive enzymes need to work extra hard to access the bonds and break the chain into individual sugars that can be absorbed through the intestines. Hence digestion of complex carbohydrates foods takes longer than other foods. On account of the slow absorption of the sugars from a complex carbohydrate diet, the body receives a steady supply of energy and consequently there is a reduction in the amount of sugar that is converted into fat which is stored by the body. On the other hand, simple carbohydrates consist of smaller molecules of sugar such as fructose, glucose, and galactose. These carbohydrates are quickly digested by the body as the individual sugars are ready for immediate absorption and the various digestive enzymes also tend to have an easy access to the bonds in the paired molecules. On account of their easy and rapid absorption, there are higher chances of the absorbed sugar being converted into fat .Complex carbohydrates and carbohydrates in general are the primary source of fuel for the body.

Complex Carbohydrates List

The complex carbohydrates list includes foods such as brown rice, bran, oatmeal etc which are best consumed in their natural state. Foods that are rich complex carbohydrates sources tend to provide many minerals and vitamins that are required by the body for the production of energy. Complex carbohydrate recipes are those that include ingredients such as cornmeal, oatmeal, maize, potatoes, brown rice, and pasta. Complex carbohydrates fruits and vegetables include potatoes, green beans, spinach, carrots, and nuts. Whole grains are a healthier source of complex carbohydrates as they have a high amount of fiber. Complex carbohydrates being a vital source of energy for the body should be an integral par of ones diet. The energy derived from complex carbohydrates can be released easily and quickly into the body to immediately fulfill the energy requirement of the various cells. Complex carbohydrates are also known to supply energy for the effective functioning of the vital organs of the body such as the heart, brain, kidneys and central nervous system.

Complex carbohydrates and carbohydrates in general are required for muscular contractions as they do not rewire oxygen to burn and are hence required to perform various exercises without exerting too much of an effort. There are mainly three types of dietary fiber that fall in the category of complex carbohydrates namely gums, cellulose and hemicellulose. The sources of these dietary fibers are fruits, legumes, vegetables, pasta and cereal. It is always advisable to consume complex carbohydrates in their natural and unprocessed form as they tend to have a low glycemic index. Foods that have a high glycemic index tend to increase the risk of diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension and insulin resistance in an individual. Complex carbohydrates are also effective in managing one’s weight as they are generally low in calories. Additionally complex carbohydrates also tend to keep the individual satiated for longer periods of time and hence reduce the intake of empty calories. Complex carbohydrates rich foods are also rich in various nutrients, phytochemicals, minerals and vitamins and are hence good for maintenance of overall good health.

Submitted on January 16, 2014