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Why should I eat complex carbohydrates as a teen?

Daphne Oz
Health Education
Minimally processed treats such as oatmeal, whole grain or whole wheat bread, and granola bars in which you can see the hunky grains and seeds are known as complex carbohydrates. Always go for brown over white, but understand that some brown breads are just a company's attempts to get you to think you are eating healthfully by coloring white bread brown; stick with items clearly labeled "whole grain" in which you can see the grains. It is much more difficult, much more complex, for your body to get the sugar out of these babies because it first has to break down the fiber (the grainy part you can see) surrounding the sugars. Because this process takes more energy and time, you stay full longer and don't get hungry as quickly as when you eat simple carbohydrates. ("Simple" is used to connote the ease with which your body can extract the sugars from the carbohydrates you have just eaten.) And, since your body is extracting the sugars out of your oatmeal in small increments, your blood sugar does not experience sudden leaps and falls, so you don't have a short energy burst followed by a long slump, and you don't get cravings. Whole grains also supply the full benefit of the nutrients these foods have to offer.
The Dorm Room Diet: The 10-Step Program for Creating a Healthy Lifestyle Plan That Really Works

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The Dorm Room Diet: The 10-Step Program for Creating a Healthy Lifestyle Plan That Really Works

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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.