Simple Carbs or Complex Carbs, Which One is Better?

carbs good or bad for health

Carbohydrates are a major group of compounds that come under macro-nutrients and are vital for health. Also, carbs are essential for the formation of various body parts and organs. Moreover, their presence makes it possible for the body to perform various functions accurately. 

Body health and fitness depends upon diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats make the most of your diet. However, the food items you consume can enable you to determine the health condition and possible risk factors. 

Individuals easily-consume a large portion of carbs daily, starting from breakfast to dinner. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that 42-percent of daily calories come from low-quality carbohydrates. Due to such large consumption of carbohydrates, the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases. Furthermore, weight gain, fatigue, hyperglycemia, skin issues, and many other disease conditions develop when you consume a high portion of carbohydrates daily. 

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Overall consumption of carbohydrates has its side effects and beneficial impact on health as well. According to Trista Best, carbohydrates are essential for health as they act as a source of fuel for energy. Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, is a registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements. 

Are There Any Types Of Carbs, Which One Is Best?

According to Trista Best, there are two types of carbs, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are present in your diet in the form of processed and refined foods including snack food items. Best explains that the simple carbs, as their name indicates, are simple and break with ease. Due to their property of breaking easily, it becomes part of the body immediately and provides individuals energy quickly. However, individuals must look out for these simple carbohydrates.

Complex carbs are considerably good and are present in whole grains including oats, quinoa, brown rice, and more. Trista Best also recommends complex carbohydrates as they contain many beneficial nutrients. 

 Moreover, complex carbohydrates give a low glycemic index (GI) value. However, simple carbohydrates have a high glycemic index. GI is a measure of how quickly blood sugar spikes and falls after the consumption of food. 

Research indicates that moderate levels of GI are beneficial for health as compared to high GI values with simple carbs. Moreover, moderate to low GI is suitable for losing weight, controlling glucose and insulin metabolism. 

Carbohydrates Cause Bloating

According to Megan Byrd, eating an excess of carbohydrates causes abdominal bloating because the body needs more water to store energy from carbs. Megan is a dietitian with the food blog The Oregon Dietitian. There is a possibility that an individual will gain 4-5 pounds after a heavy carbohydrate intake. The gain in weight has an association with water retention.

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Bloating due to excessive consumption of carbohydrates also occurs due to the consumption of ultra-processed foods present in refined carbs. Moreover, bloating may also occur due to other reasons including the excessive use of salts in the diet. 

Bloating due to carbohydrates causes water retention in your abdominal region. Whereas bloating due to too much salt causes water retention in your extremities like feet, ankles, and fingers. 

Sometimes excessive consumption of carbs for a longer duration causes bloating temporarily. However, there is a possibility that this bloating leads to weight gain and fat gain. 

Carbohydrates’ excessive consumption causes weight gain as the refined carbohydrates are rich in calories and contain excessive fats and sugars. 


Adeena Tariq Lari
The author is a graduate of dental surgery from the Dow University Health Sciences, Karachi. She has an academic background in content writing as well as English literature, giving her an edge in the field. Adeena is always curious about physical and mental health. She is always passionate about research and delivering high-quality reliable content to users.