Many foods contain a mixture of different types of carbohydrate. For example, many whole grain cereals and beans contain both starch and fiber (soluble and insoluble).
Eating a consistent amount of carbohydrates throughout the day will help keep your blood glucose (blood sugar) stable. Developing an individualized carbohydrate pattern with your dietitian will help you keep carbs consistent.
Simple carbohydrates: These are also called simple sugars. Simple sugars are found in refined sugars, like the white sugar you'd find in a sugar bowl. If you have a lollipop, you're eating simple carbs. But you'll also find simple sugars in more nutritious foods, such as fruit and milk. It's better to get your simple sugars from food like fruit and milk. Why? Because sugar isn't added to these foods and they also contain vitamins, fiber, and important nutrients like calcium. A lollipop has lots of added sugar and doesn't contain important nutrients.
Complex carbohydrates: These are also called starches. Starches include grain products, such as bread, crackers, pasta, and rice. As with simple sugars, some complex carbohydrate foods are better choices than others. Refined grains, such as white flour and white rice, have been processed, which removes nutrients and fiber. But unrefined grains still contain these vitamins and minerals. Unrefined grains also are rich in fiber, which helps your digestive system work well. Fiber helps you feel full, so you are less likely to over eat these foods. That explains why a bowl of oatmeal fills you up better than sugary candy with the same amount of calories as the oatmeal.
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