Carbohydrates, or carbs, are the body’s main source of energy and come in different forms. Complex or “slow” carbs take longer to digest than simple carbs. Complex carbs promote a healthy digestive system and are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Examples of foods with complex carbs are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.
Simple or “fast” carbs digest more quickly and tend to be lower in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. These carbs are common in processed foods such as candy, desserts, and sugar-sweetened beverages and as refined sugars, including granulated cane sugar, brown sugar, molasses, sucrose, syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, and honey. It’s best to limit foods that contain any of these refined sugars because they add calories without providing important nutrients for performance.