A Tale of 2 Carbs


FACT: White rice is simple carbohydrates; Brown rice is complex carbohydrates.

What does all that mean? 

Do we need to know what it means? 

I’m not a nutritionist. I don’t need the details for sure, but it’s useful information to know WHY I should eat this vs that and because there’s so much “noise” out there.

Recently I found an article in Oct 2018 Australian Women’s Health and I quote:”

Simple carbs break down in one step. 

When you eat a chocolate bar, the simple carbohydrate sucrose molecules head directly to the small intestine where they’re quickly converted to glucose and absorbed into your bloodstream, causing your insulin levels to quickly rise, whereas complex carbs molecules require more work to convert to glucose. 

When you eat a whole grain bread or a forkful of pasta, saliva surrounds the complex cab molecule and begins breaking it down to maltose. Then an enzyme in your intestine called amylase has to break it down further into smaller glucose molecules, at which point they can enter your bloodstream. This longer process causes a slow rise in your insulin levels, avoiding any sudden peaks. 
— Kaitlinn Colucci, registered dietitian

Of course, there are other reasons why simple carbs is bad for you or why you should consider dropping the entire carb family; tons of research done that you can probably find online.

But this post is not about a low or zero carb diet. It’s about knowing enough to make informed choices.

I’ve to admit that the word “chocolate” in the article drew me in, and I’m still glazing over some of technical terms in there but it made sense for me.

You want to be eating complex carbs as it keeps you fuller since it takes a longer time to be digested. You’d be less inclined to overeat. Eating simple carbs will give you a false sense of hunger because of the sudden sugar spikes (and will make you sleepy due to the drop in sugar level immediately after.)

In an ideal life, I’d like to eat less white rice, pasta, and flour and avoid processed goods like cereals, sugary drinks, chips etc.

In reality, life is too short.

Yes, if you want to lose weight, stay off all carbs. If you want to keep the weight off, you need to ask yourself if you’re willing to make it your "life"style. I’ve been on a no carb/lo-carb diet - it’s tough!

Personally I don’t think eating a croissant or a creme brûlée, once in a while, will kill me.  I love my nasi lemak and that’s one of my exceptions for white rice. And pineapple tarts - plus a long list of “healthy” indulgence - healthy for my soul.

And on my good days, I’ll eat healthy.

I try to eat food that is closer to its source like lean meat, fish or chicken (organic if possible) .  I load up on veggies and fruits daily. I love my brown rice! And I usually follow these 2 rules for processed food:

  • no-more-than-3-ingredients 

  • the ingredients have to be make sense (ie if I need to google to know what it is, then it’s a NO. )

But I’m human. I eat Cheetos and I drink Prosecco. And I always make room for the occasional soulful indulgence.

Eating happy, that’s what I do.

How are you eating?