Simple vs Complex Carbohydrates for Weight Loss

Simple vs Complex Carbohydrates for Weight Loss

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When doing a vegan diet in order to lose weight, you will want to consider the carbohydrates you eat. Carbohydrates will be an essential part of your diet, but the type of carbs you eat will be a determining factor in how your body loses weight. There are two types of carbs: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Read on to learn about the differences between the two and how each can affect your weight loss plan.

Carbohydrates for Weight Loss
Simple vs Complex Carbohydrates for Weight Loss

What is the difference?

Carbohydrates are a nutrient and can be found in many types of foods. Carbs are made up of sugar, fiber and starch. A simple carbohydrate is a sugar. It is composed of only one or two molecules. It is a carb that has been refined by stripping away additional molecules of fiber and starch. Your body digests simple carbs quickly and your blood sugar increases.

A complex carbohydrate is a longer string of molecules. It is made up of sugar, fiber, and starch. Your body takes longer to digest complex carbs.

Which should I eat?

While some diets emphasize a reduction of carbohydrates, carbohydrates are actually an essential nutrient and should make up a large part of your diet. The key to weight loss and healthy nutrition is to eat complex carbs and avoid simple carbs.

Learn More: Benefits of a Vegan Diet for Weight Loss

Simple carbs are usually not found in nature, except for small amounts in dairy. Most simple carbs are added to foods and contain no nutritional value. Try to avoid foods like soda, juice and packaged snack foods like cookies. These carbs may give you a short spike in energy, but it is short-lived and you will be hungry again quickly. All have added simple carbs and will not contribute to your weight loss plan.

Alkaline food table

You should focus on eating complex carbohydrates, especially in a plant-based diet. Since your body takes longer to digest complex carbohydrates, you feel full longer and are less likely to eat as much. On a vegan diet, you may not be getting as much protein, which keeps you full, so complex carbohydrates can fill this gap. These foods also encourage healthy digestion and bowel movements.

Foods with Complex Carbs

Many foods are great sources of complex carbohydrates and all are allowed on a vegan diet. You want to look for foods that are high in starch and fiber, particularly fiber.

Foods that are high in fiber include beans, avocados, brussels sprouts, broccoli, quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat bread. If you focus your diet on grains, fruits, vegetables and beans, you should be getting a good amount of complex carbohydrates. These foods will help you lose and maintain your weight, all while adhering to a vegan diet.