What is a carbohydrate? What is the difference between a simple carb and a complex carb? Both of these became burning questions with the explosion of the low-carb diet in the early 2000’s. Although diets fade in and out, carbohydrates are still a hot topic, and most of us are still unsure what the final verdict is.
A carbohydrate, or carb, is one of the main macronutrients that makes up the foods that we eat, the other two being protein and fat. Foods like grains, fruits, vegetables, sugars, and beans contain carbohydrates. Other foods such as meat, dairy, fish, nuts, seeds, and certain vegetables contain little to no carbohydrates. Carbs are the easiest and fastest macronutrient to be absorbed by the body and serve as the main energy source for your brain. It’s important to include at least a moderate amount in one’s diet, as our metabolic system requires carbohydrates to metabolize dietary fat. Without eating carbs, our brain tells the body it is “starved” and we are forced to use fat to fuel our brain. This process can cause a dangerous change in our chemical balance. These are all important reasons why we should consume carbohydrates!
Now that it’s clear we should eat carbs, which kinds should we choose? The best carbohydrates to consume are complex in nature. A complex carb is found in whole foods, where the fiber and structure of the food is still intact. For example, brown rice has an outer shell called the bran layer, which contains fiber, vitamins and minerals. When white rice is processed, this bran layer is removed, taking away all of the major nutrients from the grain. For this reason, white rice, white pasta, and sugar are considered simple carbs. These “white” carbs no longer have fiber or nutrients and are rapidly digested into the system, causing an unhealthy spike in blood sugar. Most notably, according to the Harvard School of Public Health, continuous overconsumption of simple carbohydrates may lead to Type Two Diabetes (2015).
At DeliverLean, we only prepare our meals with complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and quinoa. We believe in offering only unprocessed whole grains which contain all of the fiber and nutrients for full health benefits. Additionally, we offer Paleo, Vegetarian, and Vegan plans in which the main carbohydrate source comes from fresh fruits and vegetables. For full transparency, we label all of our meals with calories, carbohydrates, fats, and protein. You are in full control and can customize your meal plan with Choose Your Own Meals! Don’t feel stressed in the New Year when it comes to shopping, cooking, and cleaning. Choose what looks delicious, and we ‘ll do the rest!