What are the major differences between simple carbs and complex carbs?

Carbs come in two different forms - simple and complex. These two types affect your blood sugar in two different ways. So, it's highly important to understand the difference between them, to maintain a balanced diet. Read ahead! Carbs, or carbohydrates as they're called, are one of your body's main sources of energy. So, needless to say, that carbs make an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, what most people are unaware of is that not all carbs are the same. As already mentioned, they come in two forms - simple and complex - and the two have lots of differences. (They have a few similarities as well. Both simple and complex carbs are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Also, the hydrogen to oxygen ratio in both of them is 2:1.) Foods containing simple & complex carbs Both these carbs are present in a variety of foods. Simple carbs are available in fruits, dairy, and certain vegetables - which are packed with lots of nutrients. But the list also includes cookies, sugary drinks, and other processed foods that can be harmful to your health. On the other hand, complex carbs are mostly present in foods like brown rice, wild rice, corn, barley, oatmeal, asparagus, quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, etc. So, in terms of nutrition, complex carbs are a lot better option than simple carbs. They have different chemical structures Simple carbs' chemical structure is quite basic. They come in two main types - monosaccharides (which contain a single sugar molecule) and disaccharides (which are made up of two simple sugars linked together). On the other hand, complex carbs - as the name suggests - have a relatively complex chemical structure. They are known as polysaccharides, consisting of hundreds or sometimes thousands of monosaccharide units. They have different speeds of digestion Simple carbs are easy to digest, and also get absorbed quickly in the body. So, they cause an instant spike in your blood sugar levels. The excess carbs that are not absorbed get converted into fats and then stored in your body's cells. This eventually leads you to gain weight. On the other hand, complex carbs take a longer time to digest in the body. So, it's evident that they raise the blood sugar level very slowly. So, which carbs should you eat? Well, it's already clear that when it comes to a healthy diet, complex carbs are a lot better option than simple carbs. Now, let's elaborate on it. Consumption of simple carbs in excess is linked to a range of health issues. Firstly, it can lead you to obesity - which is further associated with many conditions. Also, it increases your risk of developing diabetes, heart diseases, and more. There's evidence that complex carbs might be beneficial for human health. If eaten in moderation, they aid in digestion, relieve inflammation, and also reduce your risk of chronic diseases.