First, allow me to give you a simple method of determining if what you are eating is a carbohydrate or not. Simply ask one question…
Did it have a mother?
If the answer is “yes” then it is probably a protein. If the answer is “no” then it is probably a carbohydrate. By this definition then meat, eggs, milk (for our argument we will say it “came from” a mother) are all proteins. Lettuce, apples, oranges, grains carrots, etc. all do NOT have a mother and therefore are considered a carbohydrate.
A simple carbohydrate is a food that has been processed in such a way to remove almost all of the fiber and nutrients. I would also include any food with added sugar as a simple carbohydrate. A list of simple carbohydrates would include:
- Bread (wheat and white)
- White rice
- Agave nectar
Complex carbohydrates are foods that typically are less refined and thus contain more fiber and nutrition. They have a tendency to resemble what nature produced and thus are typically lower in calories, slower absorbing (Low Glycemic Index) and more filling:
Fruit (Low Glycemic Index)
Whole, Minimally-Refined Grains such as steel cut oatmeal