Carbohydrates – A Quick Guide

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)
  • Pasta
  • Cake
  • Candy
  • Cereals
  • Puddings
  • Pastries
  • Sugar
  • White rice
  • Honey
  • Agave nectar
  • Jams
  • Chutney

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)


High Fiber, Minimally Processed Cereals

Whole, Minimally-Refined Grains such as steel cut oatmeal

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