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Amazing Facts and Benefits of Complex Carbohydrates

Updated on July 17, 2011
Complex carbs food sources chart
Complex carbs food sources chart

Complex carbohydrates are opposite to simple carbohydrates and the difference is that simple carbohydrates are simple sugars and are dissolved easily by your body but complex carbohydrates are as the name suggests “complex” meaning difficult in terms of dissolving in the body but have a whole lot of nutritional benefits as compared to simple carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates bind together to form a chain. Complex carbohydrates are mostly found in whole grains, cereals, fresh fruits, flour, etc. When we consume these foods containing complex carbohydrates, they further break down to become in glucose and this process of complex carbohydrates turning into glucose is slower as compared to simple carbohydrates. Then our body’s digestive enzymes work harder to break the bonds of complex chains and convert them in simple sugar.

Food Sources of Complex Carbohydrates

Some food sources of complex carbs are oats, whole-grain pulses, breads, muesli, barley, potatoes, maize, pasta, cornmeal, rice, and fresh fruits and vegetables.

We should consume approximately 3 to 5 servings of carbohydrates on a daily basis in the form of:

  • 2 fresh fruits
  • 50 to 100 g of rice or pasta
  • 30 to 40 gm of biscuits or bread
  • 30 to 60 g of dried fruit

Benefits of Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are really necessary for our body as they are the primary source of fuel to our body. Whenever we exercise, our body gets fatigued and needs quick boost of energy and this production of quick energy is performed after consumption of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs keep us satisfied for longer time than simple carbs; therefore, after consumption of complex carbohydrates, we require less food intake and this result in less caloric intake. That is why complex carbs are suggested in weight maintenance diets. Complex carbs contain many nutritional benefits. Food sources containing complex carbohydrates also contain minerals, vitamins, and physiochemical really necessary for the overall health of our body.

Mix veg diet for complex carbs
Mix veg diet for complex carbs

Some Amazing Facts On Complex Carbohydrates and Dietary Fiber

  1. Vegetable fiber found in complex carbs has a wealth of benefits as it helps in regulating cholesterol, helps in preventing colon cancer, helps in regulating bowel movement, and helps in combating high blood glucose levels so it is good for diabetics.
  2. Complex carbs also increase stool volume and increase satiety and therefore are recommended in weight loss diets.
  3. Also, foods rich in soluble fiber achieve greater cholesterol-lowering effect. Vegetables rich in insoluble fiber such as bran modulate the absorption of fat, sugar, and cholesterol in the intestine.
  4. The recommended daily requirement of carbohydrates obtained from vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains is 30 g per day.
  5. High intake of fiber more than 30 grams a day has detrimental effects because it affects the absorption of certain nutrients such as zinc, calcium, and iron.
  6. Dietary fiber is not considered a nutrient because it has no caloric value, which is why our body cannot absorb and metabolize it for energy. It also includes all those plant substances that our digestive system cannot digest.

HubMob Weekly Topic: Nutrition Hub #4 by soni2006
HubMob Weekly Topic: Nutrition Hub #4 by soni2006

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