What Are Carbs? - dummies

By Jan McCracken

Part of Healthy Carb Cookbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Carbohydrates are molecules made of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. They are sometimes referred to as carbs or carbos. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and the first energy that the body uses (though fiber is calorie free). Carbs include

  • Starches

  • Sugar

  • Fiber

‘Carbohydrates are found mostly in plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Usually carbohydrates are classified as complex or simple:

  • Complex carbohydrates require digestion before the energy released can be used by the body. Eating complex carbs therefore results in steady blood sugar levels.

  • Simple carbohydrates, such as sugars, white flour, white rice, and foods containing high amounts of starches, go directly into the bloodstream, causing a spike in blood sugar levels. This spike gives the body a boost of energy for short period of time. The blood sugar levels then drop, and a sense of depletion results.