Monday, September 13, 2010

When Complex Is Good!

 Since several of us were wondering what exactly IS a Complex Carbohydrate I decided to do a little research of my own.  What I will lay out in the next few minutes is my mini-version of what I found.  I do not claim to know anything about this subject other than what I have found along the information hi-way!  (and even with that...Do Not take what I'm writing here as the we all know we can't believe everything we read on the internet!)  So please do some research also if you are interested in knowing more and then we can compare notes!  =D 

So with my mini-disclaimer out of the way...this is what I found! 

Basically, Complex Carbohydrates are foods in wholegrain form.  Some of these would be wholegrain bread, muesli, oats, and brown rice just to name a few.  Since they are in this "wholegrain" form...they take longer to break down into glucose within our bodies...this slow process provides us with a gradual, more balanced stream of energy as the day goes by.  On the flipside, Simple Carbohydrates, such as processed convenience foods...quickly turn into glucose, causing a spike in our blood sugars...and sending some of us to the moon, only to come crashing back down again 30 minutes later!  Raise your hand if you can relate!

Side Note: Complex Carbs are not only found in Grains but also in Fruits and Veggies too... You will see many familiar favorites in the list below and perhaps a few that will surprise you!  (Be sure to watch for those sugars and check your portions!)  The point is... it's a Whole Food...not processed into an unrecognizable mess!

Just this information alone makes me want to be very careful of my Carb choices!    The vitamins and minerals found in Natural Complex Carbs also play an important role, helping our body to properly utilize the energy the carb is supplying.  Simple carbs are usually so processed that they no longer even contain any useful vitamins and minerals..they are what are called "empty calories"...they lack anything of use to our body and actually could be destructive to healthy cells.  Ok...I don't know about your body...but mine is exhausted from fighting the WWIII sized war inside from me feeding it all the Simple carbs I have over the past 53 years of my life!  Dang!  Why do those simple carbs have to taste so good!  But I digress!  Let's move gets better!

If the Carb does not have any nutrients to help the carbs to give us more energy...guess what?  Our bodies take the lack luster carb and converts it into FAT and STORES IT!   (Perhaps you've seen the commercial where the lady is walking around and she has a honey bun stuck to each hip! Very Graphic and True!)  I do not want to be that lady anymore!  

The sad truth is that many of us were fooled into believing that all these wonderful tasting goodies were good for you...especially if they were made at home and by your loving mom!  Heck!  I grew up having Peanut Butter and White Sugar sandwiches in my lunch box!  And of course I had a bag of chips and a cookie too!  My "milk ticket" I used on Orange Drink!  No wonder I was falling asleep by 1:00 in the afternoon!

So "bottom" line is...Reach for the the Healthy, High Fiber, Vitamin and Mineral Rich Complex Carbohydrates when filling your daily SIX BFC Carb points!  And for a nice dose of sustain daily energy... Spread those Good Carbs out throughout the day for a more balanced blood sugar and say "Good Bye" to those Hi's and Lo's!

Hope this helps...there's so much I've attached 2 of the many articles I read today at the bottom of this post.

The following list is one I compiled during my research.  Although extensive, it is by no means conclusive!  I did not include the BFC points so you will need to look those up on your own.  I tried to mark those items which would have High Sugar Content...but may have missed some along the be watchful for those sneaky hidden sugars that seem to hide in the most surprising places! 

  • All-Bran cereals
  • Almonds
  • **Apple w/ skin
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Bagel
  • Baked beans non sugary
  • Beans
  • **Beets
  • Beet Greens
  • **Blueberries
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brown bread
  • Brown rice
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Buckwheat
  • Buckwheat bread
  • Cabbage
  • **Carrots
  • Cashews
  • Cassava
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chick peas
  • Coleslaw
  • Collard Greens
  • **Corn
  • Cornmeal
  • Cucumbers
  • Dill Pickles
  • **Dried apricots
  • Eggplant
  • Flax Seeds
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Granary Bread
  • **Grapefruits
  • Green Beans
  • High fiber breakfast cereals
  • Kale
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils
  • Lettuce
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Macaroni
  • Maize
  • Muesli
  • Multi-grain bread
  • Navy beans
  • Oat bran bread
  • Oat bran cereal
  • Oatcakes
  • Oatmeal
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • **Oranges
  • Other root vegetables
  • Pastas
  • Peanuts
  • **Peas
  • **Peppers, sweet
  • Pinto beans
  • Pistachios
  • Pita bread
  • **Plums
  • Pop Corn Air popped
  • Porridge Oats
  • Potato w/skin
  • **Prunes 
  • Pumpernickel bread
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Radishes
  • Ryvita crispbread
  • Shredded wheat
  • Skim milk
  • Soy milk
  • Soybeans
  • Spaghetti
  • Spinach
  • Split peas
  • Sprouts
  • **Strawberries
  • Summer Squash
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sweet potato
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnip Greens
  • Walnuts
  • Water Cress
  • Weetabix
  • Whole Barley
  • Whole grain flours
  • Whole meal bread
  • Wholemeal spelt
  • Wholegrain Bread (sugar free is best)
  • Wholegrain Cereals
  • Wild rice
  • Winter Squash
  • Yam
  • Zucchini



 Important Update:  
Robin feels 10 lbs lighter today....
and is smiling again! 
Nuff Said!   


  1. Great blog!! This couldn't have come at any better of a time. I was actually doing some research myself on what a complex carb really is and now I have a better answer. :) I was not eating complex carbs much at all, but now I will try to stick to some of this list and hopefully it will help balance things out. And I am glad your issue is all better. ;) ;)

  2. Glad to hear you are feeling better, and lighter. :D

  3. Spicey, you're a hoot! Thanks for the complex carb scoop (oooh, that makes me think of ice cream!). Glad to here your lighter on your toes! Love your blog!