Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for energy and heat in the body.
They are the body’s most efficient energy source, ensuring that our brain, muscles, and other organs run smoothly.
They consist of simple carbohydrates like sugar and fruits, and complex carbohydrates like starches and fiber (e.g. pasta, rice, bread, and vegetables).
It is suggested that you get most of your carbohydrates from complex sources.
Simple carbohydrates are sugars such as glucose, fructose, lactose and sucrose.
Sources include corn syrup, maple syrup, table sugar, candy, cake and sweetened cereals.
They contribute “empty calories” that provide energy but no nutrients.
The main source of complex carbs are wholegrains and wholegrain products such as wholewheat bread, brown rice, pasta, vegetables and beans.
Complex carbohydrates usually supply a healthy bonus of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Each type of carbohydrate will eventually end up as glucose (a form of sugar that is carried in the blood and transferred to cells for energy).
But, they differ at the rate in which they enter the blood stream and in their nutritional value.
Simple carbohydrates are usually low in nutritional value and enter the blood stream quickly, providing short-lived energy.
Complex carbohydrates enter the blood stream in a slower, more consistent rate and are more nutritious, with dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. (1, 2)
(rice, bread and noodles)
½ cup of rice/mee/mee-hoon/kuay-teow
1 slice of wholemeal bread
½ piece of chappati
1 cup of porridge
½ cup of breakfast cereal
½ cup of green leafy vegetables (cooked)
½ cup of tubers
1 slice of papaya/water-melon/pineapple
½ cup of fruit juice
1 glass of milk
1 cup of yogurt
1 slice of cheese
1 medium-sized chicken drumstick
1 mackerel (ikan kembong)
2 matchbox-sized lean meat
1 cup of nuts
2 pieces of beancurd
2 pieces of tempeh (fermented beans) (3)