Are Simple Sugars Better Than Complex Carbohydrate?

The Skinny On Carbohydrate part 3: Simple vs. Complex

If you are a fitness and nutrition nerd like me you will be aware that carbohydrate (CHO)  is a major point of contention in the realm of diet experts and amateur bloggers.  The opinions range from those who completely vilify carbohydrate and contend that it is completely unnecessary, to those who think carbohydrate should make up the majority of your calories and fat should be avoided (like the american government diet recommendations).  If you aren’t a fitness and nutrition nerd you probably have no idea all these people exist debating endlessly about one macronutrient.   You’re saying “just give me a bagel and shut up already.”

The fact remains that this is a very important debate and probably is the lynch pin for most people’s success in maintaining weight, avoiding chronic disease and general maintenance of energy levels.  Among those who advocate for the consumption of carbohydrate the debate delineates further.  This spread generally runs along a few lines.  Timing is often discussed.  What time of day and following or preceding which activities should CHO be consumed?  Total amount of CHO is obviously a point of contention.  Also, the debate includes whether we should favor Complex carbohydrate over simple carbohydrate.

Simple vs Complex

This post will discuss the difference between Simple and Complex carbohydrate and the various opinions and rationales that go into favoring one form over the other.  For the different types of carbohydrates, what are some strategies and best practices for eating?  Which foods have complex CHO and which foods have simple?  I’ll offer some science, popular opinions as well as my own opinion.  This is a pretty tricky and complex topic and like most other topics in nutrition, there is no one size fits all correct answer.  Either way it’s fun to debate and important to be informed.   Please continue reading to get the nitty gritty! Continue reading “Are Simple Sugars Better Than Complex Carbohydrate?”