Carbohydrates are macronutrients, composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, and play a major role in providing the body with energy. As you eat carbs, the body converts these chemicals into simple sugars, and they are dissolved into your bloodstream.
Carbs can be either simple or complex, depending on their chemical composition and consequence on your blood sugar levels.
Simple carbohydrates, or sugars, are promptly broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. This quick rise in your blood sugar levels gives the rush that you might feel after consuming sugary products. Sweeteners such as sucrose, fructose, glucose, maltose and lactose are instances of simple carbohydrates that cause this sharp spike in blood sugar levels. Fruit and dairy products include simple carbs, although they contain more vitamins and minerals than processed foods and are better dietary options than packaged foods.
Complex carbohydrates, or starches, are broken down more gradually and cause a slow rise in your blood sugar levels. Instances of complex carbs take in seeds, bread, rice and other whole grain products. Complex carbs are usually high in fiber, a specific type of carb that helps digestive health and can help you feel full. Most vegetables are examples of complex carbs that also contain a high amount of fiber.