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Carbohydrates contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen and provide energy and help keep every cell in the body working properly. It is recommended that 45%-65% of an individual's daily calories come from carbohydrates. There are two types of carbohydrates:

  1. Simple carbohydrates include sugars found naturally in fruits, vegetables, milk, and processing or refinement. They release glucose to the body rapidly, although whole fruits are metabolized more slowly because of the fiber content. Best simple carbohydrate options include:
    • Whole fruits
    • Fresh and steamed non-starchy vegetables
    • Romaine lettuce
    • Cabbage
  2. Complex carbohydrates are both starches and fiber. Starches must be broken down through the digestive system before the body can use them as an energy source. Therefore it takes longer to digest these foods and provide energy (and glucose) to the body. The best examples of complex carbohydrate starches are:
    • Whole grains such as whole wheat bread
    • Whole grain pastas and brown rice
    • Spinach
    • Yams

Find out more about Carbohydrates

Last updated: 12/16/2014 5:03:20 PM