Understanding Carbs Part 1 – Simple carbs

Firstly, if you are reading this for the first time, I would suggest reading my quick post about macros by clicking HERE as it will help give a quick insight before diving into carbs.

Every now and again, certain foods get demonised in the world of nutrition and health, and carbs have definitely had their fair share of hate over the years!

Let’s nail some basic first, and look at the different types of carbs: Carbohydrates– the name means carbon plus water. Carbs hold water in the body, which is why dropping carbs can result in (fairly) quick weight loss due to a loss of water weight.

There are 2 main types of carbs: Simple Carbs. Complex Carbs.

Simple Carbohydrates:

These are made up of 1 or 2 units of sugar. Carbs with only 1 unit of sugar are called simple sugars, but their formal Sunday name is ‘Monosaccharide(it’s Greek ha).

Fruit also falls into this category as Fructose.

Carbs with 2 units of sugar are called double sugar (no surprises there) with the fancy name of ‘Disaccharide’.

Common day to day examples of simple carbs include sweets, cereals (coco pops etc) cakes, Lucozade and other sugary energy drinks.

Simple sugars are often linked to processed foods (hence the bad press), but the reality is they are present in a range of naturally occurring foods such as the aforementioned fruit, but also in veggies & milk products.

What separates the two is that the naturally occurring food choices will also contain naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, often making them a more nutritionally dense choice. This why we tend to label a banana ‘healthy’ & Skittles ‘unhealthy’.

Simple carbs are very fast acting, and quickly absorbed by the body to produce energy. Because they are broken so quickly they cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. This is why they are often used post workout.

Sugar in isolation is not responsible for making you or anyone else AUTOMATICALLY gain weight.

The single most important factor in weight loss/weight gain is the total amount of calories consumed & whether an individual is in a calorie deficit or a calorie surplus.

However, practically speaking sugar isn’t particularly filling, and as it digested so quickly this is what can make it very easy to overeat on.

If you are confused about carbs, give me a shout.

Tristan ‘simple’ Buttle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *