Complex carbohydrates are found in a variety of natural foods and are important in providing the human body with the energy it needs to function. Basically, complex carbohydrates provide a way for natural foods to impart their own energy into us. This is made possible by the multiple sugar molecules that are linked together in complex carbohydrates. Add to this, the dietary fiber that comes from these natural foods and it’s easy to reap numerous benefits.
The dietary fiber found in the natural foods that contain complex carbohydrates plays a key role in health because it cannot be fully digested by the body. Instead, it works to slow down the body’s absorption of the sugar molecules. The results are a more consistent blood sugar level as well as an even level of energy, rather than the spikes and crashes associated with other types of carbohydrates, including table sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
Approximately one-half of our daily calories should come from these complex carbohydrates. “Carbs” have gotten a lot of bad press in the last decade or so, but they are actually a very important part of our nutritional requirements. Unfortunately, not all carbs are created equal. Simple carbohydrates don’t offer the same benefits. Some of these include fructose, galactose, glucose, and sucrose. While some of these simple carbohydrates, like fructose, occur in natural foods, others are completely man-made.
Simple sugars are often found in processed foods like candy, fruit juices, soda pop, and even white breads. Unfortunately, many of these are exactly the foods we reach for when we feel like we need a little boost to our energy level. While choosing natural foods with complex carbohydrates works to regulate blood sugar and energy levels, eating processed foods full of simple sugars can contribute to diabetes and fatigue.
Of course, natural foods are the best source of complex carbohydrates. Produce like fruits and vegetables are a great option, as are grains, nuts, and seeds. Other types of food that offer this starchy goodness include breads, cereals, and pasta. In order to get the most out of these foods, though, we need to choose those made from whole grains. More sources of complex carbohydrates include:
o Brown rice
One way to get these important complex carbohydrates is to consume natural foods that are concentrated, as they offer a way to get the nutrients that we need while consuming fewer calories. Because of changes in farming practices, air and soil quality, and numerous other factors, even our natural foods don’t pack the nutritional punch that they once did. We find ourselves actually needing to consume more calories than ever before in order to take in the appropriate types and amounts of important nutrients.
Complex carbohydrates can be found in natural foods, whether they are raw, frozen, or dried. Foods that are highly processed, however, are compromised. That means that if your bread, pasta, or flour has been “enriched” or bleached, it is no longer in the complex category. Our bodies do not break these down in the same way nor reap the same benefits.
Cliff Smith is one of the owners of http://www.BesthealthFoodStore.net, an online health food store that specializes in concentrated natural foods and drinks not sold in typical health food stores or supermarkets. Discover the most powerful complex carbohydrates to manage weight, gain energy and satisfy hunger. See his Daily Healthy Food Plan that has worked for many to change the way they think about nutrition.
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