Carbohydrate is another word for sugar. The body breaks down carbohydrates to release glucose, which gives energy for body cells to function. Some carbohydrates have a fast-burning effect and others have a slow-burning effect.
Slow-burning complex carbohydrates
They are found in plants, wholegrains (such as oats, whole wheat and brown rice, millet, barley and corn), beans and pulses, whole vegetables and nuts and seeds. Because they must be broken down by digestion, they provide energy for long periods, giving a smoother feeling of wellbeing, and protect against hypoglycaemia. They are the foundation of a good daily diet.
Fast-burning simple carbohydrates
They are found in soft drinks, colas, fruit juices, sweets, chocolate, white flour, biscuits, cakes and other foods containing refined sugar. They contribute to hypoglycaemia and are the most common cause of excessive weight gain, because the sugar not used as energy is stored as fat. Generally, they should be kept to a minimum. To make it easier to eat slow-burning foods you may need to exclude fast-burners from your home.