Complex Carbohydrates

When we think of carbohydrates, most of us envision food products such as bread, pasta, rice, etc. However, carbohydrates are much more than that. Well, these are the significant and preferred source of energy for the human body. Made up of three main components, namely, fibre, sugar, and starch. Now, the carbohydrates family is not just restricted here. It can be further divided into simple and complex carbohydrates. These complex carbs are a rich source of vitamins as minerals and are getting renowned for being an imperative part of healthy diets for humans. Thus, you can find these carbohydrates leaving behind their reputation of causing weight gain.

Main Difference Between Simple And Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates can be easily divided into two types: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Let us go through the definition of both of these types to understand simple carbs vs complex carbs. 

Simple Carbohydrates: Refined or simple carbs can be defined as a type of carbohydrates that can be easily broken down by the human body. The reason being that these have only one or two sugar molecules that are linked together. Simple sugars also include sucrose, fructose, lactose, maltose, and glucose. Some examples of simple carbohydrates can be honey, milk, table sugar, etc.

Complex Carbohydrates: Complex carbs are basically different single molecules linked together. These are rich in nutrients, and it can be a little difficult for your body to digest these. These complex carbs are larger than the refined carbs. Some complex carbohydrates examples can be whole grains, bread, cereals, starchy vegetables, etc. 

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(The image depicts the difference between simple carbs and complex carbs)

How Can You Say That Complex Carbs Are Better Than Simple Carbs?

When it comes to complex carbs vs refined carbs, the complex carbohydrates are much better, according to the health experts. Let us read through some reasons for the same:

Complex Carbohydrates Possess The Ability To Keep You Full For Longer Periods as Compared to Simple Carbohydrates.

Since simple carbs can be easily digested even though they are an instant energy source for the body. This implies that you may feel hungry soon after consuming such food items. However, this is not the case with complex carbs foods. The reason being that the human body takes time to break these down due to its complex and larger molecular structure. 

Complex Carbs Enjoy More Nutrients As Compared To Refined Carbs.

As per experts, complex carbohydrates contain more quantities of minerals, antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, etc as compared to simple carbohydrates. For example, where simple carbs only offer sugar without much quantity of nutrients, the complex carbs, such as sweet potato, contain enough vitamin A, antioxidants, and fibres.

Complex Carbohydrates Are Much Better for Your Heart and Can Also Lend You A Helping Hand In Losing Weight.

It has often been told by health experts that food items that are rich in soluble fibres, which are often found in complex carbohydrates food lists are really good for the human body. These food items can lend you a helping hand in lowering your ‘bad’ cholesterol. In fact, if you consume 25 to 35 grams of fibres every day, you can easily lose your weight and can keep it off for a longer period.

What are Diverse Types of Complex Carbohydrates

Here are Diverse Types of Complex Carbohydrates. 


Starch is basically a type of complex carb that is found naturally in food items derived from plants. Some complex carbohydrates examples can be corn, oats, lentils, beans, etc. you can even find starch in some vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Moreover, you can even add starch to your food items while processing or while preparing it. The human body can easily digest these starches even though they are complex carbs. 


This form of complex carb can be naturally found in different plant cells. Green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, etc have more fibres and less starch. Since the human digestive system cannot break down cellulose, consuming non-digestible fibre can slow the digestive process for you.

Myths Related To Complex Carbs

Here are some of the myths attached to complex carbohydrates:

  • Only potatoes, bread, and pasta are considered to be complex carbs foods.

  • All the carbohydrate types, whether simple or complex carbohydrates are unhealthy for humans.

  • You cannot find fibres in these carbohydrates.

  • Complex carbohydrates can lead to weight gain in humans.

  • The sugar quotient in complex carbs is less.

  • You can find gluten in all kinds of carbs.

  • After eating complex carbohydrates, you feel lazy and sluggish.

  • You should not consume complex carbohydrates before doing exercises.

  • Your body needs more protein than carbs.

  • If you follow a low carbohydrate diet, it will help you in losing weight.

  • Eating complex carbs always make you feel stuffed.

As per health experts, all of the above-mentioned points are simple myths that have no relevance. Thus, you can always consume carbs, no matter whether simple or complex without thinking much about their ill effects. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Are Fruits Complex Carbohydrates?

No, most of the carbohydrates found in fruits are simple carbs such as sucrose, glucose, fructose. However, fruits also contain a percentage of fibre, which is considered to be complex carbohydrate. Now, complex carbs are those which do not contribute to shooting your blood sugar. This can be indexed effectively by the Glycemic Index or the GI number. Foods with higher GI numbers can be termed as complex carbohydrates. Since fruits have lower GI numbers, they cannot be termed as complex carbohydrates. Though there are some fruits which can be termed as complex carbs as well.

2. Is Banana Simple Or Complex Carb?

Bananas are famous as a rich source of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are found in the form of starch in the unripe bananas while as sugars in the ripe bananas. However, while ripening, the composition of bananas can change drastically. As per experts, green bananas contain about 80% of starch. During the ripening process of the bananas, the starch present in them gets converted into sugars. The common types of sugars present in the bananas are fructose, glucose, and sucrose.