What are the different types of carbohydrates in our diet?

Jonathan A. Fialkow, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Carbohydrates provide your body with the glucose it needs to function properly. There are two types of carbohydrates: complex and simple. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber are called good carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates include foods with added sugars -- these are called bad carbohydrates.
There are three main types of carbohydrate; starches (also known as complex carbohydrates), sugars, and fiber. You'll also hear terms like naturally occurring sugar, added sugar, low-calorie sweeteners, sugar alcohols, reduced-calorie sweeteners, processed grains, enriched grains, complex carbohydrate, sweets, refined grains, and whole grains.

Carbohydrates are classified into two type, simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are composed of small molecules generally monosaccharaides and disaccharides, which are rapidly absorbed such as glucose and sucrose. Simple carbohydrates has a high glycemic index and increases blood glucose level rapidly resulting in high insulin levels and more hunger. Complex carbohydrates are larger molecules which are broken down to monosaccharaides e.g. starches and fibers. Complex carbohydrates has a low glycemic index, increases blood glucose level more slowly but for a longer time resulting in lower insulin level and less hunger.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.