You do not have to be an athlete to reap the benefits of utilizing complex carbohydrates in your diet effectively. There are a lot of diets that make carbohydrates the enemy when in reality any good balanced diet contains carbohydrates. Of course the more active you are he more carbohydrates you need. The less active you are the less you need.
A lot of people blame the carbs for their dieting woes when in reality the golden rule of dieting and losing weight is to not take in more than you can dish out whether it is carbs or any other food group (except vegetables you can never go wrong with vegetables).
Your body needs carbs to function properly. What it does not need is simple or empty carbs. Your diet should consist of a ration of about 40-65% carbohydrates. Forty percent if you lead a relatively inactive lifestyle and 65% if you are exercising. Runners will need an even higher amount of carbs to function at the highest possible level.
Carbs are transformed into glucose in the body that provides the body with energy not only for exercise but for the most basic function. There is also an indication that diets that are low in carbohydrates can also cause feelings of fatigue and mood changes.
What Are Complex Carbohydrates?
There is a difference between simple and complex carbs. Simple carbs come from things like processed flour or white flour based foods. Complex carbs come from whole grains. You can get complex carbs from breads that are 100% whole grain or rough cut oatmeal and other grain based foods.
Starchy vegetables are also good sources of complex carbs. Potatoes, long grain rice (brown is preferable) beans, lentils and legumes. Fruits also can contain complex carbohydrates but not at the same level that vegetables do. Rolled oats are better than instant oats. There are a lot of tradeoffs that you can make when you want to switch from simple carbs to complex carbs. Simple changes like the type of bread you eat or the type of cereal you choose can add up to a big difference.
The Difference is The Fiber
Complex carbs are usually very high in fiber as well. If you want to stay within dietary guidelines seek out foods that come from whole grain sources and that are also high in fiber. Read the label of everything you eat. Understanding what the difference is between simple and complex carbs can help you to get the most nutrition out of your diet and the greatest amount of good energy for your work outs.