In short, carbohydrates are a source of energy.
I refer to carbohydrates as energy because that is what fuels your muscles. Before we get into specifics, I want to debunk a carbohydrate myth that causes “low carb” diets to fall short: not all carbohydrates are created equal!
Now, let’s talk differences.
Simple carbs are the quickest source of energy and the most easily digested. The glucose in your blood will increase and decrease rapidly, also know as a blood sugar spike and crash. Examples include maple syrup, honey, sugar, and soda.
Complex carbs have a structure that is harder to break down by the body and usually present with fiber; therefore, it is slower to digest, giving a more steady gradual increased and decreased supply of glucose to the blood. Examples include legumes, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
So what are refined carbs?
Refining: the human process of changing food
Refining complex carbohydrates affect blood sugar the same way as simple carbohydrates. Using refined carbs in your body as fuel is like trying to keep a bonfire going all night with newspaper. On the other hand, using unrefined carbs in your body for fuel is like using slow burning logs to keep a bonfire going all