Great Sources of Simple Carbohydrate Foods

Unrefined, natural simple carbohydrates are man's best friend when it comes to digestion, nutrients, and taste. Unfortunately there is no getting around that refined simple carbs, white bread and cookies, are not only bad for you but also tend to be the tastiest foods.

List of natural simple carbohydrates and refined sugar carbs:

Simple Sweet CarbsRefined Sugar Carbs
StrawberriesJam/Jellies
RaspberriesHoney (unless you buy natural)
PlumSoda
PearWhite bread
MelonCookies
OrangesDonuts
PeachCandy Bars
LycheeChocolate (dark is best)
KiwiFruit Juices (whole fruit is a better option as juice lacks the fiber to balance the sugar out)
LemonFudge
GrapefruitFlavored Waters (Gatorade, Vitamin Water)
CherryIce Cream
Cranberries
Apples
Bananas
Blackberries
Blackcurrants
Blueberries

Refined carbohydrates like cookies, donuts, and even white bread contain added sugars and fats that will stifle your goal to eat healthy food and lose weight. Unlike complex carbohydrates which also contain the vitamins and minerals necessary to efficiently convert into slow-releasing energy, refined carbohydrates are broken down into the bloodstream quickly. This leads to glucose hitting the bloodstream all at once and too fast, which leads to that familiar 'sugar high' followed by a crash that we are all familiar with.

For those times you do need a sweet hit, natural, simple carbohydrates such as fruit are your best bet. Fruit contains fiber which balances out its sugar content so makes that energy hit a little more slow-releasing and sustainable than a refined carb such as a cookie or chocolate bar.

Fruits are also a great source of vitamins that protect your body against disease, so when you satisfy that sweet craving by reaching for a banana or handful of berries, you are also doing yourself some good.

However, the only healthy way to deal with refined simple carbohydrates are to keep them as an occasional treat. Anything with added sugar, or made from refined (white) flour is likely to lack the fiber to balance out the sugar, and has little nutritional value to make it worthwhile.

In addition, refined carbs may contain hydrogenated vegetable oils, additional fat, and processed sugars. Eating refined carbs like a cookie in the morning will neither give you the energy nor give you the nutrition to maintain a balanced body.

Photograph by Mike Ryn. Creative Commons: Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

Photograph by Peter Asquith. Creative Commons: Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike

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