In order to be able to think, to read, to solve an exercise, your brain needs energy. The same goes for your muscles when you want to exercise vigorously. Your brain, your nervous system, your muscles and other organs get this energy from carbohydrates.And yet, many times you hear negative comments about carbohydrates. Why is this happening?
There are two types of carbohydrates: complex and simple. Complex carbohydrates are found in grains, cereals, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Simple carbohydrates (sugars, glucose, sucrose, fructose, etc.) can be found in sweets, packaged products and juices.
Complex carbohydrates are the ones that give you the energy you need while the simple ones are essentially “empty calories”. A meal with complex carbohydrates will make you feel full and fill you with energy, while simple carbohydrates give a temporary feeling of satisfaction, while in reality you just want to eat more!
In addition, complex carbohydrates contain fiber, while simple ones do not. Fiber is not absorbed by your body, but is essential for the proper functioning of the digestive system and protects you from serious diseases. Every day you need about 26g of fiber which you can get from a meal of complex carbohydrates (eg 2-3 fruits, 1 large salad, 1 large bowl of cereal).
Another thing you need to know is that the less processed the complex carbohydrates are, the healthier and more nutritious they are. So make sure to prefer brown rice, pasta and whole grains. And finally, do not forget to add protein to your meal, to have both strength and energy!
Source: “The Body Book”, Cameron Diaz και Sandra Bar