What is the difference between simple carbohydrates VS complex carbohydrates?


Is one type of carbohydrates considered healthier for you? I would love a dumbed down explanation of the two.

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The difference is that complex carbohydrates are long chains of simple carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates are not really any better or worse for you than simple carbohydrates. The reason people say to eat complex carbs is because the foods that have them are much healthier in general.

Simple carbs are easier to digest, which is bad because they can overload your body’s ability to deal with them. The obvious example here is sugar: more sugar than your insulin can process can give you type 2 diabetes.

Once the sugar has been digested, that’s it: no more energy until the next meal. Complex carbs take longer to digest so you get a steadier supply of energy between meals.

Our taste buds really don’t do us any favours here.

If you really want to break it down, in order from most to least complex carbs go like this:


Carbs are basically just repeating units of sugar, monosaccharides are well, just one of those. Join 2 monosaccharides together and you get disaccharides, and so on and so forth.

Polysaccharides and oligosaccharides are also known as “complex carbohydrates”

The only real difference between simple and complex carbs is their size.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that either is more healthy for you, but I will leave you with a fun fact.

A major part of the cell wall in plants, aka the reason why something like celery is very hard, is a sugar called cellulose.

Cellulose is a complex carbohydrate.