Carbohydrates – Varying Nutrient Quality Levels
The variation of carbohydrates depends on the food molecule make up. When our body breaks down carbohydrate foods, our digestion and blood sugar levels change thus determining our satiety levels dependant on the molecule make up.
*Simple sugars are composed of one or two units and are rapidly digested; consequently providing immediate energy. The two units are primarily glucose or fructose; however differ during digestion depending on the structure and source of food. Simple sugars are present in foods either naturally (fruit, dairy) or processed (lollies, cereals, cookies). Processed forms of simple sugars such as High Fructose Corn Syrup or Sucrose (glucose and fructose) leave us feeling empty and craving for more, thus leading to negative effects on our weight if consumed in continual high quantities.
While naturally occurring simple sugars, such as fructose in fresh fruit is metabolised differently and is accompanied by essential minerals, vitamins and fibre, which positively affect digestion and absorption by breaking down at a slower rate and increase the hormone leptin, which tells us we’re full.
*Complex sugars are composed of ‘many’ units, which help to slow digestion, and provide the body with sustained energy and increased satiety. These foods need to be broken down over a longer period of time due to their large makeup and thus maintain our blood sugar level at a steadier rate. Choosing complex carbohydrate food sources that contain claims of “good” or “excellent” sources of fibre (must have >4g or >8g per serve) help increase satiety levels, as well as decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) in our blood, which improves weight loss goals and overall health.
Food sources including fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, lentils and >50% wholegrains are the highest quality of fibre rich carbohydrates. Limiting foods that are highly processed is the key to steering away from unwanted weight gain. Look for >50% wholegrains in breads, cereals, crackers & bars. This ensures you’re choosing the most wholesome and least processed produce.
High Fibre | >50% Wholegrains
– Some of the better choices of packaged product examples
- Goodness Superfoods – Fibreboost 1st Bars
- Be Natural – Trail Bars
- Goodness Superfoods – Wholegrain Barley Wrap
- Cobs Natural Air Popped Popcorn
- Ryvita – Rye, Wholegrains
- Corn Thins – Sesame, Linseed, Wholegrain Varieties
- SunRice Quinoa Rice Cakes
- Frozen Vegetables / Fruits (berries)
- Helga’s Lower Carb Wholegrain Breads
- Goodness Superfoods – Proteins First Cereal