Simple Carbohydrates

Joy Kipler

What are simple carbohydrates?

Simple carbohydrates are nutrients naturally found in foods. Simple carbohydrates have one or two sugars, where complex carbohydrates have three or more sugars in them. .
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What do simple carbohydrates do?

Simple carbohydrates are quickly broken down by the body and then used as energy.
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What foods have simple carbohydrates?

A majority of simple carbohydrates contain refined sugars and very few essential vitamins and minerals. Some examples of simple carbohydrates are table sugar, fruit juice, milk, yogurt, honey, maple syrup, and brown sugar.
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Eating too many simple carbohydrates

Consumption of too many simple carbohydrates can lead to weight gain. If you eat a food that has a lot of simple carbohydrates, glucose in your blood begins to spike and your pancreas releases extra insulin to help absorb the glucose. Your body stores glucose the glucose it needs and stores the rest as "glycogen" in your liver and muscles. After holding a certain amount of glycogen, the excess glucose is stored as fat and can impact your weight.


Eating too many simple carbohydrates can also lead to tooth decay. If you eat a lot of candy, the sugar reacts with the bacteria and saliva in your mouth. Even fruit can cause tooth decay if eaten often. To avoid possible tooth decay, brush your teeth shortly after eating to protect your teeth.

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Not eating enough simple carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, including simple and complex, should make up between 45 and 65 percent of your daily caloric intake. Not eating enough carbs could result in hypoglycemia, which occurs when glucose levels in the blood drop below normal. Although hypoglycemia is often associated with diabetes, a lot of healthy people who don't eat enough carbs can get it as well.


Not eating enough simple carbohydrates can also cause ketosis, which is caused by a buildup of ketones (partially broken down fats in the blood) which results from eating less than 130 carbs a day. Mild ketosis causes mental fatigue, nausea, headaches, and bad breath. Severe ketosis can cause extremely painful swelling of the joints and kidney stones. To avoid ketosis, you should aim for 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates (simple or complex) a day.

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S - Simple carbs can come from natural and processed foods

I - It is important not to eat too many simple carbs, or your teeth may become decayed

M - Many don't know that carbs are made of three components: fiber, starch, and sugar

P - Pie is a 'simple carb food' that we should only eat in moderation or avoid completely

L - Lots of healthy substitutes for unhealthy simple carbs

E - Everyone loves simple carb foods, but should only eat them in moderation


C - Cakes, cookies, and candies are all examples of simple carb foods

A - Ask a nutritionist for help if you have a problem eating too many or too little simple carbs

R - Rarely, but possibly get a disease from eating too little or too many carbohydrates

B - But some simple carbs are essential to your diet

S - Soda should be avoided at all times and can be replaced with water flavored with lemon