Complex Carbohydrates

There are two types of carbohydrates: complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. We will be discussing complex carbohydrates in this post.

Complex carbohydrates, often referred to as starches or starchy foods, are large chains of sugar units arranged to form starches and fiber.

You use carbohydrates (carbs) to make glucose, which is the fuel that gives you energy and helps keep everything going. Your body can use glucose immediately, or store it in your liver and muscles for when it is needed.

Complex carbohydrates are are foods such as bread, grains, pasta, cereal, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn. Whole grain carbohydrates are healthier because they have more vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

You should eat some carbohydrates at each meal. Eating carbohydrates is healthy for everyone, including people with diabetes.

Examples of carbohydrates are:

  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Corn
  • Pretzels
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Crackers
  • Cereal
  • Tortillas
  • Yams
  • Whole fruits
  • Grains – brown rice, oats, wheat, barley, corn
  • Legumes – chick peas, black-eyed peas, lentils, and beans such as lima, kidney, pinto, soy, and black beans

Healthy Ways to Eat Carbohydrates

  • Buy whole grain breads and cereals.
  • Eat fewer fried and high-fat starches such as regular tortilla chips and potato chips, french fries, pastries, or biscuits. Try pretzels, fat-free popcorn, baked tortilla chips or potato chips, baked potatoes, or low-fat muffins.
  • Use low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream instead of regular sour cream on a baked potato.
  • Use mustard instead of mayonnaise on a sandwich.
  • Use low-fat or fat-free substitutes such as low-fat mayonnaise or light margarine on bread, rolls, or toast.
  • Eat cereal with fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1 percent) milk.

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