Nutritionist NYC: What are Complex Carbs?

complex carbs nutritionist nycComplex carbs are rich in fiber which improves your digestion. They provide you with a steady stream of energy, and should account for about half the calories in your diet. They help stabilize your blood sugar and mood, and keep you feeling satiated longer. They are low to moderate on the glycemic index.

Some examples of complex carbs are vegetables, whole barley, buckwheat, oatmeal, muesli, whole wheat bread, wild and brown rice, pinto beans, skim milk, spelt bread, grapefruit, apples, strawberries, oranges, quinoa, lentils, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and more.

On the other hand, simple carbs and sugars can cause swings in blood sugar and mood, lead to cravings and compulsive eating, and cause weight gain in the majority of people. They are calorie dense, and often result in overconsumption since they metabolize quickly causing you to feel hungry shortly after eating. These should be kept to a minimum in your nutrition plan.

If you are an athlete and focused on sports nutrition, then you will find that simple carbs provide the best immediate (pre workout) fuel when faced with a short digestion time, such as in the case of early morning training sessions. Simple carbs are the best choice for recovery meals, since they are quickly absorbed and replace glycogen at the fastest rate. Bear in mind, that these guidelines are for athletes, and for those in training only. For most of us, our workouts are not intense enough to warrant the need for strict fueling guidelines. For healthy weight maintenance, the general rule is to avoid simple carbs as much as possible.

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