Carbohydrates Explained

Feb 18, 2011 by

How much carbs should I eat


The best source of energy comes from carbohydratesYour nutrition program should contain at least 50% of carbohydrates, unless your are an extreme athlete then it can go up to 80%.  Carbohydrates are classified in three ways:


  • The first class:  simple sugars like glucose and fructose, can be found in honey and fruits.
  • The second class:  table sugar sucrose and lactose (sugar found in milk).
  • The third class:  are those sugars often referred to as complex carbohydrates. These starches and starch-like sugars are Dextrins,  cellulose,  pectin and glycogen) are found in whole grains, vegetables,  nuts,  some fruits and legumes.


Your body uses carbohydrates to make glucose which is the fuel that gives you the energy and helps to keep your system running smoothly :).  It can use glucose immediately or store it in your liver and muscles for when it is needed.

There are two main types of carbohydrates:  Complex Carbohydrtes and Simple carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates

Complex Carbohydrates starch and dietary fiber are the two types of complex carbohydrates. Starch must be broken down through digestion before your body can use it as a glucose source.

Quite a few foods contain starch and dietary fiber such as breads, cereals, and vegetables. Starch is in certain vegetables like potatoes, dry beans, peas, and corn. Starch is also found in breads, cereals, and grains.

Whole Grains:

Brown rice, buckwheat, millet, wild rice, popcorn (not the processed oily kind), quinoa (considered a complete protein source as well), whole oats/oatmeal, whole rye, whole wheat.
Make sure when you look at labels the word Whole is the first ingredient.

Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates include sugars found naturally in foods such as fruits,  vegetables,  milk, and milk products.  Simple carbohydrates also include sugars added during food processing and refining.  Difference?   In general,  foods with added sugars have fewer nutrients than foods with naturally-occurring sugars.  To avoid added sugars is to read the ingredient lists on food labels.

Look for these ingredients as added sugars:  ( When the pretty candy box says it’s sugar-free,  it means it has other hidden names).  It is just more artificial sugar.

Brown sugar,  Invert sugar,  Lactose,  Maltose,  Malt Syrup,  Molasses,  Raw sugar,  Sucrose, Sugar Syrup, Corn sweetener,  Corn syrup,  Dextrose,  Fructose,  Fruit juice concentrates
Glucose,  High-fructose corn syrup.
If you see any of these ingredients in the label,  it has added sugars,  meaning processed.

Nutrition is the most important part of any fitness training or living in that matter.  You can be working out every day for 2 hours ( which I strongly don’t recommend ),  but if you don’t have a great nutrition plan to go with it, it’s like running in place during a marathon.

The more you know about nutrition,  the better life you can create for your self and a much better world we can create for the future.



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