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Complex carbohydrates list: 19 Essential Complex Carbohydrates List

A Complete Guide to Complex Carbohydrates

Here’s your complete guide to complex carbohydrates, which can help keep you full and promote a bevy of other health benefits.

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Carbohydrates are an energy source in food that come from starch, sugar and cellulose. Carbohydrates provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber in the diet.

The current recommendations suggest 45 to 65 percent of our daily calories come from carbs. The 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends choosing foods containing complex carbohydrates over refined sources most often for maximum benefits.

You can find healthful carbohydrate sources in foods like wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye and in fruits, vegetables and legumes. Read on to learn more about the importance of including the right type of carbohydrates in your diet.

Complex Carbs vs. Simple Carbs

There are two types of carbohydrates — simple and complex. They differ in terms of the food’s chemical structure and how quickly the sugar is digested and absorbed, per the American Heart Association (AHA).

Simple carbs are digested quickly and send immediate bursts of glucose (energy) into the blood stream. That’s why you may feel a rush of energy when you eat a dessert, only to be followed by a crash of fatigue when that sudden burst of energy is depleted. Simple sugars are found in refined sugars, like the white sugar you’d find in a sugar bowl. Added sugars (including refined sugars) provide calories, but lack vitamins, minerals and fiber and can lead to weight gain.

Simple Carbohydrates: Refined vs. Natural

Simple carbohydrates are digested by the body quickly, after which they send a rush of glucose into the blood stream. This is why you might feel a burst of energy after eating a sweet. Some common examples of simple carbs include:

  • Candy
  • Non-diet carbonated beverages, like soda
  • Table sugar
  • Added sugars

Simple carbs are often softer in texture (think: white bread, white rice and baked goods). Soda, candy and sweeteners like table sugar and honey are also simple carbs.

Refined simple carbs are created when natural ingredients, such as sugar cane, are processed or refined into a product, such as table sugar.

Refined carbohydrates are added to foods as sweeteners, and include corn syrup, brown sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Foods that contain high levels of refined sugars include some breakfast cereals, yogurts, cookies and candy.

Refined flours, which have been stripped of some of their natural, high fiber content including the bran, germ or endosperm, are also considered refined simple carbs.

Refined carbohydrates tend to provide high calorie counts but lack nutrient value. In other words, for the number calories consumed, your body receives little benefit. To manage your weight and maximize your nutrition, limit the number of refined carbohydrates in your diet.

Are Fruits Simple Carbs?

The answer to this question is a bit nuanced.

Natural sources of simple carbohydrates provide quick energy and boost your health by supplying vitamins and minerals that are not found in refined carbohydrates.

Fruits, vegetables and dairy are technically made of simple carbohydrates, but because of the fiber, protein and other nutrients that naturally occur in these foods, they act more like complex carbohydrates in the body, per the AHA.

For these reasons, they’re recommended as part of a healthy diet.

If you have a choice between a refined and natural carbohydrate as a snack, such as choosing between a candy bar or apple, you’ll boost your nutrition by choosing the apple (the natural simple carb).

The apple contains fewer calories than the candy bar and also provides vitamins A and C, folate, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. In addition to its nutrient value, fruit serves double duty by providing complex carbohydrates in the form of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Complex carbs, on the other hand, take longer to digest and release glucose into the bloodstream at a steadier pace.

Complex carbohydrates have a sugar structure, called starch, that requires your body to work harder to access it. This means that complex carbohydrates release their energy slowly.

Foods high in starch content include potatoes, corn, pasta, breads and cereals. While these foods contain vitamins and minerals, starches from whole grains and some fruits and vegetables are more complete because they also contain dietary fiber.

Some common examples of complex carbs include:

  • Legumes including beans, peas and lentils
  • Starchy vegetables including potatoes
  • Whole-grain and fibrous foods, including brown rice, oatmeal and quinoa

You may have heard there are two major types of complex carbohydrates: fiber and starch.

Complex carbs are beneficial, in part, because they can be an excellent source of dietary fiber. Fiber is the part of plant-based food that your body can’t digest or absorb, per the Mayo Clinic, and it comes in two categories: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber attracts water and helps slow digestion. Insoluble fiber resists water and acts as bulk in your digestive tract, leaving you feeling fuller over longer periods of time. You’ll find soluble fiber in:

  • Beans
  • Oats
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Barley
  • Citrus fruits
  • Psyllium
  • Peas

This type of fiber has been found to reduce cholesterol and aid in blood sugar control.

Insoluble fiber supports digestion by increasing stool bulk. Since it’s “insoluble,” the body can’t break down part of the food, and so these parts travel through our bodies, adding roughage to help move things along. You’ll find insoluble fiber in:

  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Vegetables
  • Wheat bran
  • Whole wheat flour

In order to see the most benefit, you should be getting both types of fiber by consuming a wide variety of high-fiber foods, per the Mayo Clinic. Both forms of dietary fiber play an important role in nutrition by stabilizing your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Starch is a type of complex carbohydrate found only in plant foods, per the Cleveland Clinic. Starchy foods provide vitamins and minerals, and they require more effort (and time) to break down in the body. As a result, blood sugar levels are stabilized and you feel full for longer.

High-starch foods include:

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Cereal
  • Corn
  • Lima beans
  • Oats
  • Peas
  • Rice
  • Potatoes

When you eat starchy foods, your body works to break them down into glucose, the sugar your body uses at its source of energy. The glucose not only helps you physically, but is also the primary source of fuel for your organs, including your brain, kidneys and muscles.

How Are Carbohydrates Digested?

Carbohydrate digestion begins in your mouth, where special enzymes in the saliva start to break complex carbohydrates down, per the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The food then passes through the stomach and into the small intestines, where more enzymes break carbohydrates down into the simplest form of sugars that the body can use for energy.

Though all types of carbohydrates eventually break down into blood glucose, complex carbohydrates take longer to complete this process and offer vital nutrients the body needs along the way. Complex carbs also provide indigestible fibers that aren’t broken down; instead they move through the body to promote gut health and stool elimination.

When simple carbohydrates are consumed, they offer little nutrition and are broken down rapidly causing a sharp spike in blood sugar and the hormones needed to complete carbohydrate digestion.

The Health Benefits of Complex Carbs

Complex carbs may benefit weight loss.​ People who eat whole grain foods, including wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt and rye show a lower risk of obesity, including a reduced body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip measurement according to the Whole Grains Council.

Complex carbs may also help reduce the risk for certain health conditions. ​ People who enjoy at least three servings of whole grains each day have been shown to reduce their risk of heart disease by 25 to 36 percent, stroke by 37 percent, type 2 diabetes by 21 to 27 percent, digestive system cancers by 21 to 43 percent, and hormone-related cancers by 10 to 40 percent, per the Whole Grains Council.

Complex carbs benefit gut health and may lower cholesterol.​ The dietary fiber content of complex carbs may help decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol while normalizing blood glucose levels and insulin response over time, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Fiber also promotes bowel health by creating a more productive stool to prevent constipation and reduce diverticular disease.

Eating Carbs and Losing Weight

Carbohydrates are often the first food group to get cut when people attempt to lose weight, but doing this may actually hurt your weight loss efforts.

The trouble with “cutting carbs” to lose weight is that we’re lumping all sources of carbohydrates into one group, while we’ve learned that complex carbs and simple carbs are two very different beasts.

Focusing on certain complex carbs can help keep you full and energetic.

One such complex carb is the potato. While sometimes vilified in diet culture, potatoes have actually been shown to promote healthy weight (we’re talking all types of potatoes here, not just sweet potatoes).

Potatoes are a nutrient-dense food. A medium potato (with skin) has just 118 calories and one gram of sugar while providing 3 grams of protein, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 2.5 grams of fiber, 20 percent of the daily value (DV) of vitamin C, 24 percent DV of vitamin B6 and 11 percent DV of folate, according to the USDA.

When it comes to weight loss, potatoes are unique from many other foods in that they contain resistant starch, per a February 2020 review in the ​Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics​. This specific type of fiber may decrease the number of calories we process and increase satiety, along with other health benefits.

Another reason complex carbs are so important for weight loss has to do with their fiber content.

Fibrous foods in general support weight management because they are nutrient-rich and low in calories — especially fruits and vegetables. (think: fruits and vegetables).

Simply aiming to eat 30 grams of fiber each day can help you lose weight as effectively as a more complicated diet, found a February 2015 study in the ​Annals of Internal Medicine.

The ‘No Carbs After 3 P.M.’ Rule

Many people are confused about whether you can eat carbs and lose weight.

There are many different approaches to dieting with carbohydrates: Some people choose to cut out carbs all together, while others include complex carbohydrates in their breakfasts and lunches, but omit them at dinner time.

Whether you want to abstain from nighttime carbs — a common guideline is to cut carbs after 3 P.M. — is truly a personal decision.

In fact, eating good-for-you carbs at night may actually benefit your health.

For example, consuming more calories or carbs at night can help early morning exercisers increase their endurance and/or level of physical activity. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics explains that because carbohydrates are the primary fuel source burned for energy during physical activities, carbohydrate loading or eating carb-rich foods can maximize glycogen storage.

Eating a melatonin-rich food such as rice along with other complex carbohydrates can help you have a better night’s sleep, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Melatonin is the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle, helping you fall and stay asleep, as its levels increase at night and come down in the morning.

There are plenty of other benefits of eating carbs at night — so long as you’re eating the right carbs and fueling properly throughout the beginning of the day, too.

How to Read Carbohydrates on a Food Label

When reading a label to learn about a food’s carbohydrates, you’ll want to focus on three factors: grams of total carbohydrate per serving (be sure to identify what a serving size is), grams of fiber per serving and the ingredient list.

The total carbohydrate number shares the number of grams of carbohydrates are in one serving, but keep in mind that there can be more than one serving size in the package. Grams of fiber indicate the number of grams of total carbohydrate that won’t be digested into blood glucose.

When it comes to the ingredients list, you’ll want to focus on whole grains.

Aim for the terms: brown rice, whole-grain sorghum, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, whole-grain barley, oatmeal, quinoa, whole wheat and rolled oats. When the label on a specific food claims that it has been “made with whole grains,” it is important to know what to look for to be sure you are getting a complex carbohydrate source. A better label to look for states “100 percent whole grain.”

  • Acorn squash
  • All-Bran cereal
  • Amaranth barley
  • Black beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Buckwheat
  • Bulgur
  • Butternut squash
  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Farro
  • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • Green peas
  • Kamut
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Millet
  • Navy beans
  • Oatmeal
  • Oats
  • Parsnips
  • Pinto beans
  • Potato
  • Quinoa
  • Rice (brown, colored and wild)
  • Rye
  • Split peas
  • Sorghum
  • Spelt
  • Sweet potato
  • Wheat
  • Wheat berries
  • Whole-grain (breads, cereals and flours)

Remember: While fruits and vegetables are technically simple carbohydrates, they contain fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals, so they are more complex in nature. These foods play a critical role in our health and should be eaten daily.

Whole-Grain Coconut Almond Granola Recipe

Here’s a recipe for whole-grain coconut almond granola. It’s something that’ll keep you full, thanks to its fiber and complex carbohydrate content.

Recipe courtesy of registered dietitian Ginger Hultin, RD


  • 4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup grape-seed or sunflower oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3/4 cup raisins


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine oats, almonds, pistachios, coconut, cinnamon, salt and cardamom in a large boil. Combine maple syrup, oil and extract in a separate bowl then fold into dry mixture.
  3. Spread onto the prepared sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stir and then cook 15 minutes more. Granola should be slightly browned, but monitor it closely so it doesn’t burn. Fold raisins into hot granola and set aside to cool for 10 to 30 minutes. Then transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to one month. You can also freeze the recipe to make it last longer.

The 9 Best Complex Carbs for Weight Loss That Are Actually Enjoyable

If you’re looking to shed unwanted weight fast, there are more efficient ways to whittle your middle than giving up your morning toast or occasional pasta dinner. Yes, it’s true: You can lose weight eating carbs, but only if you eat the right ones. And by right ones, we mean complex carbs.

The key to hacking your weight-loss plan is limiting your intake of simple carbohydrates and nourishing your body with complex carbohydrates.

What are complex carbs?

Before we get into what complex and simple carbs are, let’s start with the basics: carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient, just like protein or fat. Carbs are the main energy source of the human diet, according to an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article. As you’ll notice on a nutrition label, “Total Carbohydrate” accounts for carbohydrates that can be sorted into three groups.

These three types of carbs in our diets are as follows:

  1. Complex carbs (starches)
  2. Simple carbs (sugars)
  3. Dietary Fiber

Complex carbs, or starches, are made up of long chains of sugar molecules that your body then breaks down for energy. These carbohydrates keep you full for longer because they take more time for your body to digest. While complex carbs are often less refined than their sugar counterparts, that doesn’t mean sources of complex carbs are not processed at all (for example, whole grain bread).

Examples of complex carbs include:

  • Whole grain foods like quinoa, barley, brown rice, and oats
  • Whole-grain, processed products like bread, pasta, cereal, and crackers
  • Legumes like lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, green peas, and split peas
  • Other starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn

Simple carbs are basically sugars, or are sometimes referred to as “fast-acting carbs.” They’re found mainly in fruits and vegetables, but also in refined (processed) grains, cakes, and other baked goods. Simple and refined, they burn up fast, spiking your blood sugar and causing it to crash, leaving you with a craving for—more carbs!

Dietary fiber is an indigestible long chain of sugar molecules. Fiber is found in the same foods that contain complex carbs, such as fruits, veggies, grains, and legumes.

What makes complex carbs healthier than simple carbs?

You’ll want to swap out simple carbs for their complex counterparts for multiple reasons.

  1. Quick-burning, highly-refined simple carbs don’t usually contain the plethora of health-promoting vitamins and minerals that complex carbs do.
  2. Complex carbs take longer for your body to break down, which means you’ll spend more energy to burn these than simple sugars.

Below, discover the world of benefits our best complex carbs provide. They’re the best of the best when it comes to healthy carbs. Stock up on these picks below to get lean and stay healthy.


It has a light, mild flavor, making it ideal for people who dislike other “cardboard-y” whole grains. It gets better: quinoa is higher in protein than any other grain—with 6 grams per half-cup—and packs a hefty dose of heart-healthy, unsaturated fats. “Quinoa is also a great source of fiber and B vitamins,” says Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD, a professor of nutrition at the University of Louisville.

While this pseudocereal is a great source of vegetarian protein, serving up 8 grams of protein per cooked cup, quinoa is still a carb, as it contains 39 grams of carbs per cup serving—5 grams of which are fiber and 1.5 grams are sugar.


Try Quinoa in the morning! It has twice the protein of most cereals, and fewer carbs. Boil 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups of water. Let cool. In a large bowl, toss it with 2 diced apples, 1 cup fresh blueberries, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt. This recipe serves four, so stash any leftovers in the fridge for easy breakfasts throughout the week. And if you’re having a hard time doing anything interesting with this tricky grain, try these easy and filling 20 Delicious Quinoa Bowls for Breakfast.


Next time you bust out the slow cooker to make homemade beef chili, don’t forget to add some black beans to the mix. Out of all beans, this dark legume has the highest amount of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which forms a strong defense against cardiovascular disease. A daily half-cup serving of canned beans provides 7 grams of protein and 8.5 grams of fiber, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. We also like peas, lentils, and pinto, kidney, fava, and lima beans.


Buy a brand that’s low-sodium or salt-free—like Eden Foods—or make them fresh. And here’s a recipe we love for Black Bean and Tomato Salsa: Dice 4 tomatoes, 1 onion, 3 cloves garlic, 2 jalapeños, 1 yellow bell pepper and 1 mango. Mix in a can of black beans and garnish with 1/2 cup chopped cilantro and the juice of 2 limes.


With whole-wheat bread, you’re getting all three parts of the grain: the bran, germ, and endosperm. Refined grains lack the bran and germ, which the Whole Grains Council says contain 25 percent of a grain’s protein. You’ll want to be careful picking out a loaf in the grocery store, as many breads are filled with high fructose corn syrup or a blend of whole and white wheats. Make sure your bag says “100% Whole Wheat” and know that it’s worth splurging on the pricier stuff. For more tips, check out 20 Best & Worst Store-Bought Breads.


We like Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Cinnamon Raisin Bread. The millet, spelt and cholesterol-lowering barley in this slightly-sweet loaf help boost its fiber, a nutrient that wards off hunger while keeping calories low. Toast up a slice and smear it with some natural peanut butter for a quick, nutrient-packed breakfast that both big and little kids alike are sure to love.


“Oatmeal is a great source of complex carbs that fuels the body [with energy] and [is packed with] fiber to decrease the risk of heart disease,” shares Jim White, RD, ACSM, HFS, Owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios. Start your day with a warm and comforting bowl of steel-cut oats. These crunchy grains are your best bet when choosing which a.m. staple to spoon because they’re less processed than quick-cook oats and therefore retain more fiber and protein. Specifically, oats contain 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per half-cup serving. This essential macronutrient combo will help crush cravings and keep hunger pangs at bay—especially since the specific soluble fiber found in oats, known as beta-glucans, has been shown to enhance feelings of satiety.


Top your oats with omega-3-rich chia seeds and antioxidant-rife cacao nibs to add healthy fats and round out your morning meal. If you find yourself in a time crunch or even just want to keep a healthy snack stashed in your desk drawer, check out our round-up of the best and worst instant oatmeals for weight loss.


Regular pasta is made with white wheat flour, which has been stripped of the grain’s nutrient-dense bran and germ, which are brimming with fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals. Go for whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta to reap some satiating benefits. Here’s another waist-whittling trick: After cooking your penne, pop it into the fridge and then dig in when it’s cold. Cooling the noodle turns its starch into resistant starch, which digests more slowly, discouraging you from spooning into a second helping.


Jovial Einkorn Rigatoni is our go-to brand for whole wheat pasta. (Also try varieties made with chickpeas, black beans, quinoa, or lentils, like Modern Table’s Lentil Rotini.) Because it has never been hybridized, Einkorn is one of the purest species of wheat out there, say its proponents. The whole grain is rich in protein and fiber, and just one serving of this pasta dishes up a quarter of the day’s phosphorus (a nutrient that’s typically only found in milk and meat) and 80 percent of the day’s manganese, an essential nutrient that helps the body process cholesterol, carbs and proteins.

And, bonus health tip: If you’re whipping up a pasta sauce, try throwing some flax seeds in the mix, suggests Rachel Fine, MS, RD, CDN. “They’re a great source of healthy unsaturated fats, which are powerhouses for the body’s immune system,” she says. See, because our bodies are exposed to pollutants in the environment, they’re in a constant state of low-severity inflammation. Thanks to their unsaturated fat content, flax seeds help the body battle that inflammation, according to Fine.


Beyond the abundance of vitamins and minerals, a cup of peas contains more than a third of your kid’s daily fiber intake—more than most whole-wheat breads. In one four-week Spanish study, researchers found that eating a calorie-restricted diet that includes four weekly servings of legumes aids weight loss more effectively than an equivalent diet that doesn’t include them. Those who consumed the legume-rich diet also saw improvements in their “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and systolic blood pressure. To reap the benefits at home, work lentils, chickpeas, peas and beans into your diet throughout the week.


Add frozen peas to a pasta sauce at the last second, or puree them up with garlic and olive oil as a simple, sweet dip. Or: “A handful of Snapea Crisps provides a whopping five grams of satiety-boosting protein and four grams of fiber for a mere 110 calories,” says Lisa De Fazio, MS, RD, Los Angeles-based Registered Dietitian. “Plus, this snack is non-perishable, so it can be easily eaten just about anywhere.”


Drizzle acorn squash with heart-healthy olive oil before baking for a wholesome dinner side that’s sure to please. The orange-fleshed veggie is jam-packed with blood-sugar-regulating soluble fiber, diabetes-preventing magnesium, and 30 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. The body uses this nutrient to form muscle and blood vessels, and Arizona State University researchers claim it can even boost the fat-burning effects of exercise.


For a simple—yet sweet—side dish, halve an acorn squash, scoop out the seeds and add a little butter, cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup. Bake for about an hour at 400 degrees F. Or try this delicious Avocado and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash.


Give regular ol’ wheat a break from your weekly lunch rotation and switch it up with barley. The high-fiber whole-grain is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as mood-boosting B vitamins, immunity-protecting selenium, and bone-building manganese. What’s more, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that barley helped participants lower their weight, cholesterol levels, and reduced feelings of hunger.


Try barley by buying Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets Cereal. Cereals rich in fiber and whole grains reduce the risk of disease and early death, say Harvard School of Public Health researchers. Lucky for you, these nuggets are made with fiber-rich whole grains like oats, red wheat, rye, brown rice, triticale, barley, buckwheat, and sesame seeds.


Kamut, or Khorasan wheat, is an ancient grain that’s brimming with nearly 10 grams of protein and about 7 grams of fiber per cooked cup. Plus, the buttery-flavored grain contains high levels of inflammation-fighting cytokines, according to a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which can help ward off weight gain. For more foods that’ll help you banish belly fat and bloat, check out these anti-inflammatory foods.


Buy it and boil it. Or try Eden Foods Kamut Spaghetti. In addition to serving up a good amount of protein and fiber, the noodles have 20 percent of the day’s magnesium—a nutrient not normally found in pasta. Not getting enough magnesium has been linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and coronary heart disease.

Examples of Simple and Complex Carbohydrates

On your weight loss journey, you’ve likely learned a thing or two about simple and complex carbohydrates, organic compounds in foods and drinks that the body stores until they’re used as energy or broken down and converted to fat. Knowing which type of carbs you’re eating or drinking is important because simple carbs are more quickly converted to fat, while complex carbs can help to make you feel fuller and boost your energy levels, helping you to lose weight.

But which foods and drinks are which carb types? Metabolic Research Center offers a quick cheat sheet of the most common of both carb types.

Foods with Simple Carbohydrates

  • Baked goods (including bread) made with white flour
  • Cake
  • Candy
  • Candy bar
  • Carbonated drink
  • Chocolate
  • Cookie
  • Corn syrup
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit preserve or jam
  • Fudge
  • Honey
  • 2% or regular milk
  • Most packaged cereals
  • Pasta made with white flour
  • Table sugar
  • Full fat yogurt

Foods with Complex Carbohydrates

  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Banana
  • Blackberry
  • Black current
  • Blueberry
  • Broccoli
  • Brown rice
  • Brussels sprout
  • Buckwheat
  • Buckwheat bread
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Cherry
  • Cranberry
  • Cucumber
  • Dill pickle
  • Dried apricot
  • Eggplant
  • Garbanzo bean
  • Grapefruit
  • Kidney bean
  • Kiwi
  • Lemon
  • Lentils
  • Lettuce
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Lychee
  • Melon
  • Multi-grain bread
  • Muesli
  • Navy bean
  • Oat bran bread and cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Orange
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pinto bean
  • Plum
  • Potato
  • Prune
  • Radish
  • Raspberry
  • Skim milk
  • Spinach
  • Split pea
  • Soybean
  • Soy milk
  • Strawberry
  • Turnip green
  • Wild rice
  • Watercress
  • Whole barley
  • Whole meal bread
  • Whole meal flour
  • Whole meal pasta
  • Yam
  • Zucchini

For more weight loss tips, call 800-501-8090 and schedule an appointment at your nearest Metabolic Research Center location.  

Good-for-you Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, or “carbs,” have gotten a bad reputation for those watching their waistlines. But not all carbs are bad. In fact, the right carbs are an important part of a healthy diet.

There are two types of carbs: simple and complex. “Simple” carbs are more easily digested by the body and can be found in fruits (get 2½ cups of fruits and vegetables each day) and dairy. Simple carbs are also found in processed, refined foods like sugar, pasta, and white bread. “Complex” carbs take longer for the body to break down and are found in vegetables, whole-grain pasta and bread, brown rice, and legumes.

You don’t have to give up carbs to have a healthy diet; the key is choosing wisely. American Cancer Society nutrition guidelines recommend avoiding processed and refined carbs in favor of complex ones, as much as possible. American Cancer Society Director of Nutrition and Physical Activity Colleen Doyle, MS, RD, has some easy tips to fit in more complex carbs and better-for-you simple carbs:

  • Read the label on breads, cereals, rice, pasta and crackers. Look for whole something as the first ingredient, such as whole-wheat flour.
  • Start your day with high-fiber foods. Oatmeal, oat cereal, whole-bran or whole-wheat muffins, bagels, or English muffins.
  • Add bananas or berries to your oatmeal or oat cereal, or have fruit on the side.
  • Keep dried fruits and vegetable juice boxes in your desk drawer and glove compartment (but watch the sugar content!).
  • Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen counter for quick snacking.
  • Enjoy ½ cup (4 ounces) of 100% fruit juice once or twice a day. Mix with club soda or unsweetened seltzer water if you like fizz.
  •  Choose brown rice instead of white.
  • Add barley to soups and stews, or bulgur to salads and casseroles.
  • Choose whole-grain snacks: popcorn, corn tortilla chips and salsa, whole-wheat pita bread with hummus, whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cheese, or whole-grain muffins.

Complex Carbohydrates List of Healthy Carbs

Here’s the complex carbohydrates list of good healthy carbs that you’ve been looking for.

Complex carbs are actually very simple. And you’ll find this healthy carbohydrates list of good carbs will help you to feel simply great!

So what are carbohydrates anyway? The healthy carbohydrates in food are the macronutrients your body needs in order to look better, feel better, think better and have an abundance of endurance and stamina.

The healthy carbohydrates list below is your best source for good carbs.

Choosing bad carbs (instead of from this good carbs list) can rapidly undermine your health and sabotage your weight management goals.

Healthy Carbs and Complex Carbohydrates List

Simple and complex carbohydrates can be misunderstood. Since whole fruit is a simple carb, it’s best to categorize carbs as either bad or good carbs. Here’s your complete good healthy carbohydrates list.

(Carb grams for most packaged foods can be found on the label.)

Black beans 1/4 cup dry 23
Black beans 1/2 cup cooked 18
Garbanzo beans 1/4 cup dry 28
Garbanzo (Chickpeas) 1/2 cup cooked 18
Kidney beans 1/4 cup dry 29
Kidney beans 1/2 cup cooked 20
Lentils 1/4 cup dry 28
Lentils 1/2 cup cooked 20
Lima Beans 1/4 cup dry 22
Lima Beans 1/2 cup cooked 20
Navy Beans 1/4 cup dry 32
Navy Beans 1/2 cup cooked 29
Pinto Beans 1/4 cup dry 29
Pinto Beans 1/2 cup cooked 22
Soybeans 1/4 cup dry 13
Soybeans 1/2 cup cooked 9
Split Peas 1/4 cup dry 26
Split Peas 1/2 cup cooked 21
Blue cheese 1 oz 0. 7
Cheddar cheese 1 oz 0.4
Cottage cheese, 2% fat 1/2 cup 4
Egg 1 extra large 1
Feta cheese 1 oz 1
Milk, 1% fat 1 cup 8
Milk, fat-free 1 cup 13
Mozzarella cheese 1 oz 0.8
Parmesan cheese 1 Tbsp. 0.2
Provolone cheese 1 oz 0.6
Ricotta cheese 1/2 cup 6
Swiss cheese 1 oz 1
Yogurt, low-fat 1 cup 17
Yogurt, fat-free 1 cup 18
Apple 5 oz 21
Apricot 3 (4 oz ea. ) 12
Avocado 1/2 (3 oz) 7
Blackberries 1 cup 18
Blueberries 1 cup 21
Cantaloupe 1 cup 13
Cranberries 1/2 cup 6
Grapefruit 1/2 (4 oz) 10
Grapes 1 cup 16
Guava 1 (3 oz) 11
Kiwi 1 (2-1/2 oz) 11
Mango 1/2 (3-1/2 oz) 18
Nectarine 1 (5 oz) 16
Orange 1 (4-1/2 oz) 15
Papaya 1/2 (5-1/2 oz) 15
Peach 1 (3-1/2 oz) 10
Pear 1 (6 oz) 25
Pineapple 1 cup 19
Raspberries 1 cup 14
Strawberries 1 cup 11
Tangerine 1 (3 oz) 9
Watermelon 1 cup 12
Almonds 1 oz 6
Brazil nuts 1 oz 4
Cashews 1 oz 9
Coconut, raw 1 oz 4
Macadamia nuts 1 oz 4
Peanuts 1 oz 6
Pecans 1 oz 5
Pistachios 1 oz 7
Pumpkin seeds 1 oz 5
Sesame seeds 1 Tbsp. 1
Sunflower 1 oz 5
Walnuts 1 oz 3
Alfalfa sprouts, raw 1/2 cup 1
Asparagus 1/2 cup cooked 4
Butterhead lettuce 1 cup raw 2
Broccoli 1/2 cup cooked 4
Brussels Sprouts 1/2 cup cooked 7
Cabbage 1/2 cup cooked 4
Carrot 1 (2-1/2 oz) 7
Cauliflower 3 florets 3
Celery 1/2 cup diced 2
Chinese Cabbage 1/2 cup cooked 2
Chili Peppers 1 Tbsp. 1
Corn (sweet) 1 ear 19
Cucumber 5 oz raw 4
Edamame, fresh soybeans 1/2 cup raw 14
Edamame 1/4 cup cooked 10
Eggplant 1/2 cup cooked 3
Garlic 1 clove 1
Ginger Root 1 Tbsp. raw 1
Green Bell Peppers 1/2 cup raw 3
Iceberg Lettuce 1-1/2 cups raw 3
Mushrooms 1/2 cup cooked 4
Okra 1/2 cup cooked 6
Onions 1/2 cup cooked 7
Radishes 1/2 cup raw 2
Red Bell Peppers 1/2 cup raw 3
Red Cabbage 1/2 cup cooked 4
Romaine lettuce 1-1/2 cups raw 2
Scallions 1/2 cup raw 4
Spinach 1/2 cup cooked 3
Swiss Chard 1/2 cup cooked 4
Zucchini 1/2 cup cooked 4
Bread, whole wheat 1 slice 14
Bread, multi grain 1 slice 17
Oatmeal, cooked 1 cup 25
Pancake, buckwheat mix 1/3 cup (3 cakes) 33
Pancake, whole grain mix 1/3 cup (3 cakes) 28
Pasta, whole wheat 1 cup cooked 37
Popcorn, popped 3-1/2 cups 19
Rice, basmati brown 1/4 cup dry 31
Rice, brown 1/4 cup dry 33
Rice, brown 1/2 cup cooked 22
Rice, wild 1/2 cup cooked 18
Rye bread 1 slice 15

What are Good, Bad, Simple and Complex Carbohydrates?

As you can see, the above healthy carbohydrates good carbs list can help you to choose healthy carbs that will make you look and feel great.

But you still may wonder, what are carbohydrates? Especially bad carbs.

The difference in good carbs vs bad carbs is not based on a simple and complex carbohydrates list. It’s based on how much fiber is in the food and how fast the food’s sugars are absorbed into your blood stream.

For more info about good, bad, simple and complex carbs, go to the Good Carbs List of Carbohydrates in Food, the Low Glycemic Diet of Low Glycemic Foods and the complete list of healthy High Fiber Foods.

More CommonSenseHealth for You:
How to Stop Emotional Eating
“Refined” Bad Carb Sweet Sugar Death
The Healthiest Vegetables List of Vegetables
Your High Fiber Foods Chart of Fiber Rich Foods

10 Best Foods With Carbs

Much like dietary fat, carbs have gotten the short end of the nutritional stick. Yes, there are high-glycemic carb offenders, like donuts and bagels, that quickly turn to sugar, effectively bloating your stomach and packing on the pounds.

But just as you shouldn’t fear all dietary fats, there plenty of reasons to eat carbs. “Good,” complex carbs are crucial to keeping our bodies and brains regulated. In fact, a new study from the University of Chicago Press Journals suggests carbohydrates (particularly starches) are the reason our brains have gotten bigger and we’ve become smarter over the last million years. The human brain uses up to 25 percent of the body’s energy budget and up to 60 percent of blood glucose, the researchers add. Since carbs are our main source of energy, it pays to have the right kind in your diet.

Complex carbs contain longer chains of sugar molecules, so it takes more time for our bodies to break them down. What this means is you’ll have more energy when you hit the gym, your appetite will be curbed for longer, you’ll recover faster from a tough training session, and your brain will stay sharp (not to mention you’ll be in far better spirits than your friends on low-carb diets) when you eat them.

Now, when you’re grocery shopping, know that food labels include sugar and fiber in the total number of carbohydrates. Because our body breaks carbs into sugar, you want to choose high-fiber carbs, which take longer to break down and provide more lasting energy. To help you discern the best-of-the-best, we thought outside of the bread box and chose 10 nutritious carb sources from most of the major food groups (vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, fruit, dairy) so you’ll get a variety of vitamins and nutrients to support a healthy lifestyle.

And if you’re not sure about the amount of carbs you should eat each day, know that your body size, activity level, fitness goals, and genetics will alter the number. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests about 55 percent of your daily calorie consumption should come from carbs (bodybuilders will get about 50 percent of their calories from carbs, and low-cab eaters will get as low as 10 or 15 percent of their calories from carbs).

Check out our guide on using carbs wisely to calculate your maximum daily allotment, and how to properly fit them into your diet.

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What Are Gluten Free Carbs?

Gluten Free Carbs might seem like a strange topic, but it if you follow a gluten free diet, it is a subject worth understanding.

In my practice I have noticed that when people initially adopt a gluten free diet, they have good intentions but not always good results.

There can be several reasons for this, but frequently they stop eating usual foods such as pasta, cereal and bread but don’t know what foods to eat instead. Then, they end up eating a much lower carbohydrate diet and suffer from ongoing hunger, fatigue and unintended weight loss. 

To work around this, we have to know which carbohydrate foods are gluten free.

And, to really understand this, we’ll discuss gluten, complex carbohydrates, simple carbohydrates and related topics.  


In every day conversation people tend to use the terms Carbs and Carbohydrates, to describe food groups, as in “I don’t really eat carbs.” The more accurate way of saying this could be “I’m limiting my intake of foods that contain complex carbohydrates” or “I’m avoiding starches and grains.”

Carbohydrates are a nutrient and may be complex carbohydrates (starches) or simple carbohydrates (sugars). Complex Carbohydrates are found in Grains, Cereals, Beans/Legumes, and Starchy Vegetables. Simple Carbohydrates are found in fruit, milk, honey, and table sugar. 

Carbohydrates are also found in vegetables and nuts but in smaller quantities when consumed in customary amounts. This blog post won’t address these foods or the topic of fiber in detail. For more detailed information on these topics, please see this article on Carbohydrates. 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one of these links and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What Is Gluten Exactly? 

Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, rye and some oats. Gluten is found in the wheat varieties of spelt, kamut, farrow, durum, bulgar, triticale and semolina.

A myriad of foods contains gluten such as baked goods, crackers, cereals, bread and pasta. Gluten is often a hidden ingredient in foods. 

Think of gluten as a glue. Its main job is to allow food to maintain its shape by keeping it held together like glue (1).

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder that is triggered by the consumption of gluten-containing foods (2). This disease can cause long-term damage to the small intestine.

You may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), or a wheat allergy, where consuming gluten-containing foods will also trigger symptoms for your body without long-term intestinal damage.

For people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy, following a gluten-free diet is the treatment needed to sustain a healed and healthy digestive system.

Is A Gluten-Free Diet Healthy? 

The World Health Organization defines a healthy diet as one that “protects against malnutrition in all of its forms,”(3).

Anyone walking the earth today is at risk of malnutrition if they aren’t eating a balanced variety of healthy foods. With individual dietary limitations, your risk for malnutrition is higher.

It is certain that if you do have Celiac disease, NCGS, or a wheat allergy following a gluten-free diet is what’s safe for you, but it may not be healthy. 

You may already follow a gluten-free diet and be familiar with the many gluten-free products that are on the market today. Many of these foods are processed and lack beneficial nutrition. Gluten free breads and baked goods may be lacking in fiber and contain hidden added sugars. 

A study done in 2013 assessed the diet quality of 55 adult patients with Celiac disease over 12 months and found nutrition inadequacies in fiber, folate, thiamin, calcium, zinc, and magnesium (4).

Have you ever thought about the nutritional quality of your gluten-free diet plan? Some of my clients who eat a gluten-free diet tend to avoid complex carbohydrates. Sometimes they’ve been told to avoid all carbs, starches, anything white and all processed foods.

Planning a diet strictly based on what you can’t eat may compromise the quality of your nutrition, and this may lead to further health problems. (This is why I recommend meal planning based on what you CAN eat.)

A poorly planned diet may compromise the quality of your nutrition which may lead to further health problems. The good news is that including gluten free carbs in your diet can be tasty, economical and healthy. 

What Is The Difference Between Simple And Complex Carbohydrates? 

Food is mainly composed of protein, fat, and carbohydrates–which provide your body with energy through metabolization. 

  • Carbohydrates, or carbs, can be broken down into two categories– simple and complex.  
  • Complex Carbohydrates include starches and fiber.
  • Simple Carbohydrates are sugars. 

Simple Carbohydrates:

  • Are made up of short links of sugar molecules that are digested quickly in your body (5).
  • Cause a quick rise in blood sugars after consumption.
  • Are found in fruit, dairy, honey, syrups, sweets, juice, and soda (6).

Complex Carbohydrates:

  • Are made up of long links of sugar molecules that are digested more slowly in your body.
  • Generally provide a more gradual blood sugar increase, especially when consumed in their whole state and in proper quantities (5).
  • Complex carbohydrates are found in grains, cereals, starchy vegetables (like potato and sweet potato) and legumes. 
  • Foods containing complex carbohydrates provide a substantial array of nutrition benefits.
  • Food containing complex carbohydrates contain fiber, especially when consumed in minimally processed forms.  

Benefits of Complex Carbs 

  1. Starchy foods provide complex carbohydrates which are digested more slowly than simple sugars.
  2. Starchy foods such as grains provide vitamins and minerals including iron, B vitamins, iron, selenium, magnesium and zinc (7). 
  3. Starchy foods provide phytonutrients (8).
  4. Starchy foods provide antioxidants (8).
  5. Starchy foods provide fiber (8).
  6. Starchy foods may help reduce heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol (8). 
  7. Starchy foods may prevent constipation and gut health (9).
  8. Starchy foods help you feel full and satisfied.
  9. Starchy foods are generally low in fat and usually cholesterol free.  
  10. Complex carbohydrates provide energy for metabolism, activity and exercise. 

Gluten Free Carbohydrates

When you can not eat gluten gains, it is important to replace these foods with other comparable foods that are gluten free. For most meals, choosing a source of complex carbohydrates makes the most sense.

But when that is not possible, you can consume simple carbohydrates from fruit and dairy. 

While fruit and vegetables are often grouped together, it is important to note that non-starchy vegetables are much lower in carbohydrates when compared to grains, starchy vegetables, dairy and fruit.

For a comparison of carbohydrate content between each food group, using a diabetic exchange list can be helpful. 

Gluten-Free Fruit 

Fruits contain simple carbohydrates and are gluten-free. However, if you are purchasing fruits that have been processed it is important to check the label to make sure the product is free of gluten.

The list below is not exhaustive but can give you some ideas for what kinds of fruits you may enjoy.

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Cherry
  • Grape
  • Grapefruit
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemon
  • Mango
  • Orang
  • Pineapple
  • Pear
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry

Gluten-Free Dairy Products

Dairy is naturally gluten-free, but with the addition of additives in food processing, there is a chance that a product could contain gluten. Always be sure to check labels. 

Tip: Some people who do not tolerate gluten may also have difficulty with dairy. That’s why we often hear about “Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free” foods.

If you can eat dairy, here is a list of some common gluten-free dairy products.

  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Ghee
  • Ice Cream
  • Milk
  • Sour Cream
  • Yogurt


Gluten-Free Complex Carbohydrates

Most people enjoy their meals and have good nutrition when they include a complex carbohydrate as part of the meal. 

Complex Carbohydrates are found in the following food groups: Grains, Starchy Vegetables, and Legumes. I’ve also included a list of pseudograins. Sometimes these are grouped with grains as they are used similarly.

These gluten free grains can be consumed individually or are sometimes combined in to gluten free breads, flours and other products. 

Be sure to choose grains that are labeled “Gluten Free” as there is a risk of cross contamination if these gluten free products are processed or farmed alongside gluten containing products.  

Gluten-Free Grain List  

Clarification: Be sure not to get confused between gluten free grans and ancient grains. Some of the ancient grains are in the wheat family, and not gluten free. 

Gluten Free Pseudo-Grains 

(These are technically seeds.) 

  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat (Also known as Buckwheat Groats and Kasha)
  • Quinoa 

Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Complex Carbohydrates 

Some diets exclude both gluten and all grains. 

Starchy Vegetables and Legumes, provide complex carbohydrate and are naturally gluten free. 

Starchy Vegetables 

  • Arrowroot 
  • Green Banana
  • Cassava (Tapioca is made from Cassava.)
  • Corn (Corn is sometimes considered a grain as well.)
  • Parsnips
  • Plantain
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Taro
  • Yams
  • Yucca

Legumes List

(Have you read our blog post about Beans and Lentils? Learn more about these amazing ingredients. )

  • Beans
    • Adzuki
    • Black Beans
    • Black Eyed Peas 
    • Broad Beans (Also known as Fava Beans)
    • Cannellini Beans
    • Chic Peas (Also known as Garbanzo Beans) 
    • Edamame (Soy Beans)
    • Great Northern Beans
    • Kidney Beans
    • Lima Beans
    • Mung Beans
    • Navy Beans
    • Pinto Beans
    • White Beans
  • Lentils
    • French Lentils
    • Green Lentils
    • Red Lentils
    • Yellow Lentils 
  • Peas
    • Green Peas
    • Split Green Peas (dried)
    • Yellow Split Peas (dried)

There are other varieties of beans, peas, lentils, pulses as well. I’ve included the ones that are most common and can be used as a source of complex carbohydrate. Foods in this list also contain protein. 

Gluten Free Carb Substitutes

Sometimes non-starchy foods are used as gluten free substitutes for noodles and other starches. Examples are Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles), Riced Cauliflower, and Konjac Noodles. These foods are tasty, versatile and nutritious and can be used in many dishes.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that these foods are much lower in carbohydrates and calories. While this can be beneficial at times, it is important to think about food groups when planning meals.

Meals that are too low in carbohydrates and calories can feel filling and satisfying but might not keep you full for long. This could cause over eating at the next meal or increased snacking in between meals. 

How to Add Complex Carbs to your Meals

Eating enjoyable, safe, and satisfying meals is part of a healthy lifestyle. 

Here are some examples below on how to easily add gluten free carbs to create a balanced gluten-free meal.

  • Salad with Grilled Chicken: Add canned chic peas or cooked lentils to salad.
  • Vegetable Omelet: Add Potato 
  • Scrambled Eggs: Serve with Grits or Corn Tortilla
  • Steak and Broccoli: Add baked potato
  • BBQ Meatballs and Roasted Carrots: Serve with Quinoa
  • Grilled Salmon and Vegetables: Serve with Sweet Potato

Tip: It’s a good idea to identify a few “go-to” complex carbohydrate foods — foods that you know you like and that are easy to prepare. After you this, try adding a new gluten free food to your diet on a regular basis. Variety keeps your diet interesting and healthy. 

Bottom Line

Foods containing complex carbohydrates may help fight chronic diseases and are part of a healthy diet. There are plenty of gluten free carbs to choose from to make certain you’re getting enough fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Be sure to seek medical advice if you have concerns about your Celiac disease, NCSS, or wheat allergy.

Final Thoughts:

Packaged gluten-free products are often both expensive and lacking in fiber and other nutrients. Foods that are naturally gluten free and easy to find at the grocery store, are usually priced more fairly, are often more nutritious, and may be more accepted by your family. 

What are your favorite gluten free carbs? Let me know in the comments. 

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  • Lisa Hugh is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Leap Therapist. She has a Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration. As a a Food Sensitivity Expert, her passion is helping people with complex medical and nutrition needs find food and groceries that are safe and enjoyable. Lisa enjoys helping clients in her private practice.

    View all posts

  • Gabrielle McPherson is a Registered Dietitian and Freelance Writer. Gabrielle has a masters degree in Clinical Nutrition and a bachelors degree in Dietetics. She has worked extensively with pediatrics and works as a freelance health and nutrition writer.

    View all posts

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90,000 list of products and ways to lose weight

An important factor in the benefits of complex carbohydrates for weight loss is the rapid saturation of the body. During a meal saturated with these substances, satiety occurs very quickly, so you won’t be able to eat much. At the same time, hunger goes away for a long time and the need for constant snacks will not arise.

When calculating the ideal diet menu, it is important to consider the glycemic index. This is an indicator that characterizes the rate of breakdown of carbohydrates in the body.The lower it is, the more dietary the product is. The most useful are cabbage, lentils, cherries, broccoli, eggplants, green peppers. But foods with a high glycemic index (over 65) will certainly lead to extra pounds on the sides. Therefore, exclude semolina, pineapple, marmalade and other difficulties from the menu.

The required amount of complex carbohydrates for a person is calculated based on the principle of 4 g per 1 kg of body weight. At the same time, for athletes, this indicator is 5 g per kg of weight, and during periods of diets – 2.5-3 g per 1 kg.

The main proportion of carbohydrates in the diet should be in the morning. In the evening, it is better to refrain from even complex carbohydrates.

To lose weight, you need to revise your menu in the direction of increasing meals that include complex carbohydrates. Fortunately, the list is quite extensive. A large number of polysaccharides are found in:

  • Vegetables and herbs are, first of all, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, celery, cabbage, spinach, lettuce;
  • Berries and fruits – kiwi, apples, figs, cherries;
  • Groats – buckwheat, wheat, brown and white rice, oats;
  • Legumes and grains – durum pasta, barley flakes, peas, beans, lentils.

Dishes from these products can be safely included in the diet. This will contribute not only to weight loss, but also to the overall health of the body. For a quick snack, you can have a glass of tomato juice or vegetable shake, which are loaded with complex carbohydrates.

Among vegetables, the record holder for the content of slow carbohydrates is potatoes. A large number of nutrients are also found, in descending order, in olives, parsley, beets, bell peppers, and white cabbage.Although potatoes are high in slow carbohydrates, they are high in calories and therefore not dietary.

Among the fruits, it is worth giving preference to figs. It will be useful to include pomegranates, cherries, apricots, pears, oranges in the menu. Of cereals, corn contains the most complex carbohydrates. Then, in descending order – barley, millet, buckwheat.

If you can’t imagine a meal without bread, choose wheat crackers or bran loaves.And of the nuts and legumes, beans are the healthiest. In addition, complex carbohydrates are found in lentils, soybeans, pine nuts.

90,000 Complex Carbs – Listing Weight Loss Products in Table

Published: 26/08/2019 Time to read: 23 minutes 736

Today more and more people are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, for which they closely monitor their diet. Also, a proper diet is necessary for those who are struggling with excess weight. A balanced diet should include fats, proteins, carbohydrates, as well as a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals.But special attention should be paid to carbohydrates. The fact is that many people consider them harmful organic elements, so they try to minimize their consumption. This is a misconception. Usually it develops due to the fact that a person does not distinguish between foods with complex and simple carbohydrates. Let’s figure out how to treat carbohydrates when forming the right diet.

What are complex carbohydrates and why you shouldn’t be afraid of them

Complex carbohydrates are organic compounds that the body needs for energy.On a chemical level, they are all made up of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Their use allows you to ensure normal vital activity and form immunity. The organization of proper nutrition provides for a fairly accurate regulation of carbohydrate intake. To form the right diet, you need to know about the content of these substances in different foods. Below is a table of foods that contain complex carbohydrates:

Sources of carbohydrates (100 g) Carbohydrates (g)
All the bran 80
Muesli 77
Corn 77
Corn flour 73
Buckwheat 71
Oat bran (raw) 66
Oatmeal 62
Wheat germ (raw) 51
Rye bread 48
Whole Wheat Bread 41
Corn spaghetti thirty
Barley (raw) 28
Yams (raw) 28
Brown long grain rice 23
Lentils (boiled) twenty
Potatoes (boiled, in their uniform) twenty
Peas eight

Foods containing complex carbohydrates and foods containing simple carbohydrates are distinguished. The latter are quickly absorbed and transfer energy to the body. In the process, the concentration of glucose in the blood increases. If there is an excess of “fast” energy, then it will be converted into fat cells. Therefore, these foods are best consumed early in the day. Foods with complex carbohydrates take a long time to digest, while the body consumes relatively large amounts of oxygen and energy. The consumption of such food provides an important source of energy that will fuel a person for a long time.

Types of complex carbohydrates

What are complex carbohydrates? This question will be easy to answer if you understand their classification. The following list of complex carbohydrates is distinguished.

  • Starch . This compound is of plant origin. In the process of digestion, it is quickly converted into glucose, which is the main source of energy for the body. Starch is found in various concentrations in all plant products. Its main sources are potatoes, oatmeal, bread, lentils, rice, soybeans, etc.
  • Fiber . A specific type of complex carbohydrate that does not transfer energy to the body, but regulates cholesterol levels. Fiber includes organic fibers. They contribute to the correct course of digestive processes, as well as perform a cleansing function. The list of foods containing these complex carbohydrates includes bran, legumes, rye bread, fruits and vegetables.
  • Glycogen . This organic compound is also called animal starch. Glycogen accumulates in the blood and liver. The body uses it as a priority source of energy. Raisins, dried apricots, dates, watermelons and other foods are high in glycogen.
  • Pectin . This type of carbohydrate includes organic fibers that can be absorbed during digestion. Pectin helps to lower blood glucose and cholesterol levels.Foods saturated with this carbohydrate include beets, eggplant, peaches, pears, seaweed, currants, raspberries, etc.

Which foods with complex carbohydrates are healthy and which are better not to eat

As we have already found out, foods rich in complex carbohydrates are essential for the body. But you need to properly formulate the diet, since it is critical to maintain a balance. Not all complex carbohydrates are created equal. Almost all cereals, except semolina, herbs, fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, and most vegetables, are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates.But you always need to take into account other energy components of products. For example, nuts contain a large amount of fat, which is not only healthy, but also very high in calories.

Expert opinion: The record holders for complex carbohydrates are potatoes and olives, parsley root and beets, bell peppers and white cabbage.

However, foods are isolated that contain unambiguously “bad” carbohydrates. As a rule, they are made from refined ingredients, devoid of vitamins and other important organic components. It is recommended to completely exclude from the diet:

  • rich pastries;
  • chips;
  • French fries;
  • sugary carbonated drinks;
  • syrups.

Such foods have a high calorie content, while carbohydrates are quickly processed by the body. As a result, a surplus of “fast” energy is formed, which will accumulate in the fat cells. In addition, regular consumption of such food increases the risks associated with the regulation of cholesterol and blood glucose levels.It is not difficult to give up these foods for a healthy lifestyle, especially when you consider what an extensive list of healthy and tasty carbohydrates was discussed above. You can supplement your diet with special dietary supplements, which contain a sufficient dose of dietary fiber. Herbalife offers products that provide a daily dose of polysaccharides. These are delicious and healthy mixtures that are enough to dissolve in warm water and drink for breakfast or lunch. This is an easy way to control your BJU levels as well as lose weight by reducing your carbohydrate intake throughout the day.Dietary fiber not only satisfies the daily requirement for polysaccharides, but also normalizes the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. The ideal solution for those looking for the perfect balance of calories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, who are looking after their own health.

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| 10.12.2019 16:31

Complex carbohydrates are great 🙂 I love fiber-rich foods, especially green beans and all kinds of raw food stuff like wheat germ. But I haven’t even heard of corn spaghetti, you will have to look for

90,000 Complex carbohydrates – foods. List of foods with a lot of complex carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, like proteins and fats, are important building blocks for our body. They supply our brain, nervous system and organs with vital energy and also maintain glycogen levels.But, in turn, these substances are divided into simple (mono- and disaccharides) and, accordingly, complex carbohydrates (or polysaccharides). For the normal functioning of the body, it is necessary to correctly dose their consumption. It is believed that in order to maintain yourself in good physical shape, it is better to eat complex carbohydrates, not simple ones. Products, the list of which will contain the most familiar names for you, can be found in any store. But before compiling a menu, there are several important points to consider.

What concerns complex carbohydrates

For an active lifestyle and smooth functioning of organs, a huge amount of energy is needed, which will fuel us throughout the day. Any nutritionist or doctor will tell you that complex carbohydrates must be present in the diet of a healthy person. “What products are these?” – you ask. The answer is simple: almost anything that is considered very healthy, but not always tasty, can be classified in this category.

Foods rich in fiber, coarse fibers and starch always contain complex carbohydrates.Foods, the list of which will be a list of cereals, grains and green vegetables, should always be present in your refrigerator and make up about 30-40% of your daily food intake. Various cereals, potato-based dishes, hard vegetables (pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini) will not only be a source of energy and strength, but will also have a good effect on the state of the gastrointestinal tract. Be sure to include complex carbohydrates in your daily diet. The products, a list of which is presented in more detail below, will help you create a delicious and varied menu.But remember that it is preferable to use them in the morning, and in extreme cases in the morning.

Types of complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates, unlike simple ones, are absorbed very slowly by the body, do not cause sudden surges in insulin and, accordingly, do not threaten to accumulate in the fat layer. They are very poorly soluble in water, so they stay in the body for a rather long time. Complex carbohydrates include starch, glycogen, fiber, and pectins. Depending on the concentration of these components in foods, they have different nutritional value and glycemic index.


Starch is the most important supplier of carbohydrates for the body. Its highest concentration is observed in food of plant origin, mainly in cereals. Foods containing complex carbohydrates (list of the richest in starch):

  • Buckwheat (up to 60%).
  • Rice (up to 70%).
  • Oat groats (about 49%).
  • Pasta (by the amount of gluten in the starting material may contain 62-68% starch).
  • Rye bread (depending on the type of flour used, 33-49%).
  • Wheat bread (35-51%).
  • Lentils (over 40%).
  • Peas (up to 44%).
  • Soybeans (3.5%).
  • Potatoes (depending on the variety and freshness of the product, 15-18% starch).


This polysaccharide is present in food in much smaller quantities. Its content is especially high in all internal human organs and muscle tissue. It is a kind of “energy reserve”, as well as the main source of nutrition for the brain and nervous system.You can directly replenish glycogen stores by eating meat (mostly red), beef heart, liver and fish.


Very similar in composition to polysaccharides. It is a coarse vegetable fiber that is extremely important for the normal functioning of the intestines. Most of all it is found in whole grains, which are not subjected to mechanical cleaning and heat treatment. By diversifying your diet with such foods, you can more easily control hunger, since coarse fibers provide a long-lasting feeling of fullness.Complex carbohydrates provide this function. The foods listed below are high in fiber:

  • Legumes.
  • Fruits and vegetables with seeds (grapes, apples, kiwi, pomegranate).
  • Fresh vegetables and herbs.
  • Whole grain cereals (not cleaned or steamed).
  • Nuts (hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds).


Pectin fibers play the role of adsorbents in the body.Dissolving in water, they turn into a viscous colloidal mass that absorbs various toxins, carcinogens and even heavy metals. It is pectins that free the intestines from toxins and normalize the digestive tract.

Glycemic index of food

The glycemic index (GI) characterizes the rate of increase in blood glucose immediately after the use of a particular product. The higher this indicator, the faster the absorption of sugar occurs, and then at the same rate it is excreted from the body.The highest indicator is for glucose itself in its pure form, it is taken as 100. Different glycemic index may contain dishes and products that are similar in nature, but differently cooked. Simple and complex carbohydrates in this regard have their own gradation.

If you are trying to eat right, then it is better to give preference to foods with a high content of polysaccharides, they are not only more useful, but also help to lose weight. If you are wondering what glycemic index simple and complex carbohydrates have, the food list (table below) will help you figure it out.

Glycemic index

Product list

Less than 15

Various types of cabbage (white cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts), green vegetables and herbs (cucumbers, green beans, green beans , asparagus, sorrel, rhubarb, lettuce, spinach, leeks, etc.), kohlrabi, ginger, turnip, radish, pumpkin, bell peppers, squash, olives, eggplant, mushrooms, sauerkraut, bran.


Berries (cranberries, cherries, blueberries, sweet cherries, lingonberries, plums), various nuts (especially peanuts), grapefruit, lemon, soybeans and bread, natural yogurt (without sugar), kefir , pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate.


Dried fruits (apples, dried apricots, prunes, apricots), fresh fruits (pears, peaches, apples), berries (all types of currants, raspberries), legumes (peas, beans, lentils, beans ), milk chocolate, celery, carrots, tomatoes, brewer’s yeast, dairy products (low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt, whole milk).


Cereals and cereals (oat, wheat, barley, buckwheat), dried dates, rye bread with bran, wholemeal pasta, drinks (beer and kvass), strawberries, grapes, gooseberries, strawberries, tangerines, pineapple, melon, oranges.


Pasta made from the hardest varieties of wheat, brown rice, cookies (oatmeal, biscuits), dumplings, meat pies, dumplings (with various fillings), mango, kiwi, canned peas, muesli and unsweetened cereals, canned juices from apples, grapes and pears.


Jams and preserves, marmalade, ice cream (all flavors, but without fillers and fillings), bananas.


White rice, brown sugar, beets, raisins, watermelon, potatoes (boiled, steamed, raw), corn (on the cob or grains), baked goods (biscuit, pancakes, cheesecakes, pancakes ), chocolate bars.


Marshmallows, various rolls, lollipops, honey, white bread, caramel

Complex carbohydrates for weight loss

Most people seeking weight loss often become supporters of a low-carb diet. However, diet planning needs to be handled correctly. After all, a sharp and long-term absence of a source of carbohydrates in the body leads to depletion of the glycogen reserve in the liver, which, in turn, is replaced by lipids.This can lead to fatty degeneration of the liver and even its dysfunction.

A low-carbohydrate diet is based on the fact that due to the lack of glycogen, the body begins to use fats as energy, the increased breakdown of which can lead to the formation of free radicals – ketones. In this case, improper nutrition can lead the body to “acidification” up to acidotic coma. Thus, complex carbohydrates for weight loss are more effective than eliminating simple ones from the diet altogether.This is because they, unlike the latter, do not stimulate a constant and depressing feeling of hunger, but are a good source of “long” energy for the whole day.

Helpful Hints

Remember that a low carbohydrate diet and eating foods with a low glycemic index are just one link in controlling your weight and blood glucose levels. If you are an adherent of a healthy diet, you should adhere to some rules:

  • Try to eat at the same time, observe the regime.
  • Stick to a multi-component supply.
  • Minimize sugar and sweets as much as possible.
  • Fat in the diet should be no more than 30%.
  • Try to eat more fiber.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and salt.

About diet: fast and slow carbohydrates

Today we are going to talk about one of the basic tenets of healthy eating: the power of slow carbohydrates. What is it and what is it eaten with?

In recent decades, the topic of proper nutrition has become more and more popular.The reason for this is simple: proper nutrition not only allows you to maintain a beautiful figure and not gain extra pounds, but also is the key to good health, excellent health, strong immunity and a constant feeling of lightness and vigor. Sounds tempting, right?

Many of us wonder if this lifestyle is right for them? Are the rules of this tricky diet too convoluted?

We affirm: everyone can do proper nutrition! You just need to remember a few important principles, and you can safely take the first step on this exciting path.In this article, we will figure out what is the difference between fast and slow carbohydrates.

Nice to meet you – slow carbs

Maybe you remember how the low-carb diet was very popular a few years ago? Her message was very simple: if you want to lose weight, eat fewer carbohydrates. This is partly the correct approach to nutrition, but keep in mind that not all carbohydrates are equally harmful. Rather, on the contrary, without some of them, our body simply cannot cope.Explaining.

Carbohydrates give us energy. It is thanks to them that we have the strength to get up, go to work, meet with friends, read this article, in general, live a normal life. If we want our body to function well, then the amount of carbohydrates consumed should be about 45-65% of the total amount of food. Otherwise, their lack can threaten us with severe health problems and metabolic disorders. However, this is not a reason to run for candy!

This is where the fun begins: it turns out that carbohydrates are carbohydrates.

There are two types of carbohydrates: slow and fast. Roughly speaking, slow carbohydrates give us life-giving energy and strength, while fast ones – mostly empty calories and cellulite.

A bit of theory. Simple carbohydrates are made up of one or a pair of sugar molecules. Complex is a chain of several molecules. Simple carbohydrates are broken down by our body very quickly, and complex carbohydrates still need to be worked on – which provides us with energy for a long time.

Experts recommend focusing on eating foods with a lot of slow carbohydrates.

Does this mean that we do not need fast carbohydrates at all? There are situations when they can be useful, for example, after serious training to restore and replenish muscle glycogen. During this time, the body requires a sharp influx of glucose – and slow carbohydrates take much longer to assimilate.

What else we need to know about slow carbs
  • The main function of complex carbohydrates is to provide us with a constant level of energy throughout the day.We will feel full for a long time, which means we will eat less and gain extra calories.
  • Slow carbohydrates are best consumed in the morning and in the morning, while carbohydrate metabolism is working at the required rate.
  • Slow carbohydrate foods are generally high in fiber. Although fiber is not assimilated by the body, it plays a very important role. Passing through the digestive tract, it, like a whisk, cleans out all unnecessary from our body and helps to establish digestion. And this, in turn, is a guarantee of health, energy and well-being for a long time.
  • Foods with slow carbohydrates have a low glycemic index. This means that they will not cause surges in insulin, which, among other things, is responsible for the processing of excess carbohydrates into fat cells.
  • Slow carbohydrates, just like a smile, will make everyone brighter – literally. Saccharides contribute to the production of serotonin, which is responsible for our good mood and also helps us keep warm on a cold day.

Why do you need to know the glycemic index?

The glycemic index (abbreviated as GI) of a product indicates how the blood sugar level changes when it is consumed. The higher the GI, the faster the sugar rises.

High GI foods (70 and above)

  • give a lot of energy,
  • satiate quickly and are absorbed faster, but at the same time, the feeling of hunger sets in faster.In addition, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle and do not expend this excess energy anywhere, then, of course, this will not turn out to be anything good for the figure.

Low (10 to 40) and medium GI (40 to 70) foods

  • allow you to control blood sugar levels,
  • are absorbed slowly and gradually release the necessary energy. The feeling of fullness lasts much longer.

Now that we’ve figured it out, it’s time to figure out which foods are preferable to eat?

Slow Carb Food List

90,000 A useful list of carbohydrates that help you lose weight and not gain extra pounds

Carbohydrate-free diets can bring quick results, but proper weight loss without carbohydrates is impossible.Calorie deficiency is the main thing in weight loss, and a competent balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates makes the process of losing weight healthy and of high quality. There are foods that have the perfect combination of complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and flavor. They leave a feeling of fullness for a long time and help not to overeat. Let’s add it to the diet?

We at Bright Side have collected the most important information about carbohydrates, which nutritionists always emphasize, and have compiled a list of the tastiest and brightest helpers in getting rid of extra pounds.

Carbohydrates for weight loss

The most important thing in carbohydrates is energy for the body. And a good metabolism of fats and proteins is impossible without them. However, carbohydrates are often blamed for weight gain. Is it so?

By structure, carbohydrates are divided into the following:

Complex – contain starch, fiber, pectin, glycogen (bread, legumes, cereals, pasta, potatoes, vegetables, cereals, nuts, herbs).

  • Slowly absorbed, gives a feeling of satiety (starches + fiber).
  • Regulate bowel function and support microflora (fiber).
  • Promote the elimination of fluid from the body (fiber).
  • Maintains normal gastric mucosa and improves food digestion (pectin).
  • Maintain the required muscle mass (glycogen).

Simple – contain glucose, fructose, galactose, sucrose and maltose (fruits, milk, all kinds of sweets and pastries, beer, fast food).

  • Cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels.
  • Provides a burst of energy.

When the glucose level rises, the pancreas begins to produce insulin, and the more carbohydrates we eat, the more insulin in the blood. If complex carbohydrates raise and lower insulin levels gradually, then simple ones provoke leaps and the need to eat something else.

If we constantly satisfy our hunger with simple carbohydrates, then we get a constant release of insulin into the blood and its high concentration. High insulin levels inhibit fat absorption, which contributes to excess weight.

This does not mean that you need to completely eliminate simple carbohydrates, but your diet should be balanced. We give preference to complex carbohydrates – and slim down with pleasure.

7 nourishing helpers

1. Chickpea

Chickpea is very useful primarily for the content of essential amino acids, which are responsible for a complete metabolism, as well as high protein content . Vegetable fiber helps control the volume of food – this product can be saturated quickly and for a long time.

Chickpeas go well with vegetable broths, spices, olive oil. On its basis, the famous dish of Arab cuisine, which is popular in our latitudes, is made – hummus.

For quick weight loss, nutritionists advise replacing saturated fat foods with chickpeas.

2. Corn

Protein and vitamins contained in corn help to improve the condition of skin, hair and nails, promote fat burning, and fiber perfectly stimulates intestinal motility.

An interesting nuance: combining corn with beans, you can enhance the effect of weight loss, since both of these products contain resistant starch – a carbohydrate that improves digestion and speeds up metabolism.

3. Pasta

Pasta made from durum wheat has long been included in the “diet list”. These are complete complex carbohydrates , which fill with energy for a long time and contribute to the elimination of toxins from the body.

Ideal combination – with vegetables and herbs, and the degree of readiness – al dente (such a pasta is tender, but a little hard “by the tooth”).

4. Asparagus beans and asparagus

Potassium, which is contained in asparagus beans , strengthens muscle tissue and normalizes intestinal health. It is asparagus beans that are recommended for those who have given up meat because of its high content of vegetable protein. The low calorie content, the ability to quickly satisfy hunger and the long feeling of fullness have made asparagus so popular with those looking to lose weight.

Asparagus has a similar effect: it contains fiber, is easily absorbed and is just a storehouse of vitamins that help normalize blood pressure, remove harmful toxins from the body and stimulate the heart muscle.

5. Mushrooms

For all their nutritional value and satiety, mushrooms contain very few calories. So, champignons have only 27 calories raw and 50 – fried, oyster mushrooms are slightly more calories – 38 calories raw and up to 100 calories fried.

Amino acids, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, vitamins of groups B, C and D make mushrooms a healthy dish, and the fiber and protein content allows you to fill up quickly. There are even special mushroom diets.

At the same time, oyster mushrooms are the champions in fast satiety.

6. Rice mixture

Wild rice, considered one of the healthiest types of this product, is not actually rice, but the seeds of the moisture-loving herb Zizania aquatica, which grows in North America. Wild rice is low in calories, high in fiber and protein, and the amino acid tryptophan , which is a natural sedative. This rice with a delicate nutty flavor saturates the body very quickly.

However, it is not recommended to use it in its pure form, because such food is rather heavy for an unaccustomed organism. Therefore, it is better to add wild rice to rice mixtures like this: wild, brown, white rice.

7. Potatoes

One of the most controversial foods in the matter of losing weight is potatoes. However, the degree of its harmfulness is exaggerated. Not everyone knows that potatoes have a lower starch content than pasta or some cereals.

The method of preparation is also of great importance. Baked with vegetables and olive oil or boiled potatoes will not harm your figure, since such a product retains all the useful properties.Avoid butter and meat in combination with potatoes, as well as fried potatoes in favor of the above cooking options, and then the product will help fight extra centimeters at the waist, rather than add them.

What dishes help you lose weight with pleasure?

Food List, Slow Carbohydrate Table

When drawing up the menu, it should be borne in mind that carbohydrates are also complex (slow), the table with a list of products will be below. What is the difference, not everyone knows today.The former quickly saturate the body, since they have a light structure, and are quickly broken down into water and glucose, but they do not have enough energy for long. Excessive use of them leads to weight gain.

The basic principle of proper nutrition is a harmonious combination of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, which are supplied to the body every day. Many, knowing about the properties of the latter that are destructive for the figure, seek to completely abandon them. But the food should be balanced, even if you are losing weight and dieting.By eliminating saccharides, you will lose your main source of energy. The absence of any nutrient will lead to disturbances in the body and various diseases.

Complex carbohydrate decomposes for a long time and is slowly absorbed into the bloodstream, thus avoiding an insulin surge. This is very important for diabetics and people who are watching their weight. Insulin is a hormone that breaks down complex carbohydrates into simple elements. It is necessary to keep the production of this substance in the body under control, and for this it is quite simple, and also to understand in which products there are more useful complex carbohydrates or polysaccharides.


Complex sugars support the tone and balance of the body. Due to their low decay rate, they provide a feeling of fullness for a long time. Foods high in polysaccharides have an extremely positive effect on the body. Among the main properties are:

  • improvement of brain function;
  • control and stabilization of muscle activity;
  • Reducing the risk of hepatic atrophy;
  • participation in intracellular metabolism;
  • removal of toxins and slags;
  • Improving the functioning of the organs of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • Maintaining energy levels throughout the day.

Sources of long-soluble glucose are useful not only for weight loss, they are also indispensable for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis and various diseases of the cardiovascular system. Slowly digested carbohydrates are broken down smoothly and gradually. The first glucose molecules are absorbed into the bloodstream 40 minutes after a meal. Then the product is digested for another 3 hours, giving the body a supply of vigor and strength.


Having understood what slow carbohydrates are and how they affect the body, it is necessary to study what belongs to this group of nutrients.The main types are:

  • Fiber. These are coarse fibers of plant origin. They improve bowel function, remove ballast deposits, and give a feeling of fullness. Foods containing fiber are whole grains, fruits, herbs, legumes, and beets. Fiber is practically not absorbed, therefore it is not processed into fat, 90% is excreted from the body naturally.
  • Starch. It is a substance that is low in calories. It helps control blood sugar levels, stimulates metabolic processes and boosts immunity.Bread, buckwheat, oatmeal, potatoes, pasta are starch-rich foods.
  • Glycogen. This complex carbohydrate is essential for building and repairing muscle mass. In food it is extremely small, the highest concentration is noted in fish, beef, liver.
  • Pectins. These substances act as absorbents. They attract and remove toxins, poisons, heavy metals from the body. Pectins are found in root vegetables, algae, and fruits.

Complex carbohydrates have different calories, nutritional value and glycemic index (GI).The latter is an indicator of the rate at which the product is broken down and glucose enters the bloodstream. Foods with a low glycemic index (up to 40-50 units) are the most useful.

Food with average values ​​of up to 60-70 units should be taken with caution, in moderation. If the product belongs to the GI category above 70 units, like wheat bread, it is better to exclude it from your diet altogether. What foods are not recommended, you can find out from the table below.

It is important to understand not only how simple carbohydrates differ from complex ones, but also when it is better to eat this or that product. Polysaccharides are best absorbed by the body in the morning, so they should be included in breakfast and lunch. Foods containing complex carbohydrates can be divided into groups:

  • Legumes
    . They are great for nourishing, but not deposited in fat. Lentils, beans, peas – these products can be eaten without restrictions in any form of heat treatment.
  • Dairy
    . They are based on, but also there is lactose – a carbohydrate. The healthiest dairy products include low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt.
  • Greens
    . It is rich in fiber and pectins, as well as vitamins, trace elements and acids. Make salads with fresh herbs every day, this will have a beneficial effect on your figure and overall well-being.
  • Porridge
    . The best solution is whole grains. Often women are interested in rice – simple or complex carbohydrates? It all depends on the type of cereal.White rice is a fast sugar, and it also contains a lot of gluten. Its brown analogue is degraded in the body much longer, therefore it brings more benefits.
  • Vegetables and fruits
    . Tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, raspberries, bananas – vegetables or fruits should be on the menu every day, the main thing is to combine them correctly with other ingredients, namely protein foods.

Also watch the video:

If you strive to look good, feel great and radiate vigor and energy, eat complex carbohydrates, the list of foods and the table will help you create a daily menu for those who are losing weight.

90,000 Complex carbohydrates: food list, table

What is the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates

There are two types of carbohydrates:

  1. Complex carbohydrates
  2. Simple carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are found in whole foods and are made up of a long chain of saccharides (three or more) linked together. As for simple carbohydrates, they consist of one or two molecules of monosaccharides, and their structure is more simple.Complex carbohydrates are found in foods that contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, beans, peas, and lentils are examples of foods that contain complex carbohydrates (see below for a complete list of foods and table).

Simple carbohydrates have a simpler structure and are found in white bread, white rice and baked goods. Sugary sodas, candy, and sweeteners like sugar and honey also contain simple carbohydrates.These easily digestible carbohydrates are quickly absorbed by the body, causing a spike in blood sugar and a rapid boost in energy. Refined flour is made from wheat, whose whole grains contain complex carbohydrates. However, in the production of refined flour, fiber, bran and endosperm are removed from it. Due to this processing of flour, flour products are digested faster and easier, and contain fewer beneficial nutrients. Fruits, vegetables and dairy products are also technically composed of simple carbohydrates, but because of the fiber, protein and other nutrients they contain, they act more like complex carbohydrates in the body and should be consumed daily.

Carbohydrate metabolism

Due to the fact that special enzymes present in saliva break down complex carbohydrates, their assimilation begins directly in the mouth. The product, passing through the stomach, enters the small intestine, where a large number of enzymes break down carbohydrates into simple sugars, which the body can use for energy. Although all types of carbohydrates are eventually converted to glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream, it takes longer to break down foods containing complex carbohydrates, and in addition to carbohydrates, the body also receives vital nutrients.They also contain indigestible fiber, which is not absorbed by the body and helps in bowel movement, maintaining colon health. When simple carbohydrates are consumed, they do not carry essential nutrients and are quickly broken down, causing a spike in blood sugar and hormones needed to complete carbohydrate absorption.

The benefits of complex carbohydrates

People who regularly consume foods from whole grains are significantly less obese.These people also have lower cholesterol levels, and those who eat at least three servings of whole grains daily have a 25-36% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, 37% less stroke, and type 2 diabetes. 21 – 27%, cancer of the digestive system by 21 – 43%, as well as cancer associated with hormonal disorders by 10 – 40%. The presence of complex carbohydrates in the daily diet helps to reduce low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol), normalize blood glucose and insulin levels.Fiber also promotes gut health by creating more productive stools, which can prevent constipation and reduce diverticulitis.

Complex carbohydrates in foods – table

Product Complex carbohydrates per 100 grams
Wheat bran 66 grams
Amaranth 65 grams
BARLEY 75 grams
Black beans 8 grams
Asparagus beans 8 grams
Buckwheat 72 grams
Bulgur 76 grams
Butternut squash 12 grams
Durum wheat 71 grams
Single-grain wheat 70 grams
Two-grain wheat 71 grams
Lamb peas (chickpeas) 61 grams
Green peas (seed peas) 14 grams
Kamut 30 grams
Red beans 60 grams
Lentils 20 grams
LIME BEANS 15 grams
Millet 73 grams
White beans Navi 13 grams
OAT BRAN 66 grams
Oatmeal 12 grams
Oats 66 grams
Sowing parsnip 18 grams
Pinto beans 63 grams
Potatoes 17 grams
KINOA 57 grams
Rice brown 23 grams
Wild Rice (Tsitsania) 75 grams
Rye 76 grams
Split peas 60 grams
Sorghum 74 grams
Spelled 70 grams
Triticale 72 grams
Tef 73 grams
Sweet potatoes 20 grams
Wheat 71 grams
Whole grain bread 41 grams
Whole grain flour 72 grams

Complex carbohydrates: list of products, table.