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Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are broken down into two categories which are simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. The body takes these carbohydrates and then breaks them down to simple sugars for easy digestion. Simple carbohydrates (also called simple sugars) are easier to digest and are found in common foods such as a variety of soft drinks, candies, and fruits. Fruits that contain mostly simple sugars include oranges, kiwis, cherries, and cranberries. These fruits are also vitamin rich and are most likely a better alternative to simple sugars via candies such as lollipops.

Complex carbohydrates are largely found in grain products such as rice and pastas, as well as vegetables and oatmeal. This group of carbohydrate takes longer to break down to simple sugars by the digestive system due to the complexity of its structure. There are many complex carbohydrates that can be good for your health and in most cases, these are the carbohydrates that have not been processed or refined by a factory. When a carbohydrate is processed, most of the nutrients and fiber are removed. Two good examples of refined complex carbohydrates are white rice and flour.

Fiber is considered a complex carbohydrate however cannot be completely digested by our stomachs. Fiber is present in many foods coming from plants including fruits, vegetables and grains. This complex carbohydrate can be broken down into two categories which are soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can be dissolved in water while insoluble cannot. Both types of fiber provide numerous benefits to our bodies. Soluble fibers can help lower cholesterol and maintain blood glucose levels. Insoluble fibers can help promote good intestinal health and help prevent certain cancers.