Complex versus Simple or Processed Carbohydrates – Part 1


Complex versus Simple or Processed Carbohydrates – Part 1

Although we have approximately five litres of blood coursing through our veins, we only need the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of sugar in our bloodstream for everyday activities. The body releases insulin to keep the amount of sugar in the bloodstream steady at around this level.

Although protein and fat do not significantly raise your blood sugar level after eating, most carbohydrates get broken down into glucose and therefore increase the blood sugar level. When glucose enters your bloodstream, it signals the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin causes glucose in your blood to enter into your cells (i.e. muscle cells, fat and liver cells) so it can be stored for energy. Once the carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, your body does three essential things:

  • It uses what it needs for immediate energy
  • Takes some of what’s left over and converts it into glycogen (the storage form of glucose) in the liver and muscles until they reach their capacity
  • Takes any glucose that remains and converts it into fat, which is stored in unlimited amounts in the body

The body does these different things depending on the amount of carbohydrates we eat, as well as the ratio between complex versus simple or processed carbohydrates we consume. If you haven’t eaten for a while and eat a small amount of carbohydrates, it might only be enough to supply your immediate energy requirements. If you eat a sizeable carbohydrate-rich meal or another carbohydrate meal shortly after having consumed one, you may not require any glucose at that moment, so your body will jump right into the fat-storing mode.

Not all carbohydrates are equal! Complex carbohydrates are found in whole, unprocessed foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Simple carbs are sugars and starches that have been refined and mostly stripped of their natural fibre and nutrients. Simple carbohydrates are digested quickly, causing insulin spikes and significant swings in blood sugar levels. In contrast, complex carbohydrates are higher in fibre and digest more slowly, keeping the blood sugar levels stable. Part two of this series with delve deeper into why paying attention to this distinction is essential for weight control.

Related Posts

Physical Address

Cambridge Medical Suites Shop L13
Cambridge Crossing Shopping Centre
1 Stone Haven Road
South Africa

Website Subscribe
Back to Top
Copyright © 2024 Slender Solutions All Rights Reserved