Carbohydrates
deficiencies.  Vegetables that are high in complex carbohydrates include: green leafy
vegetables, broccoli, celery, sweet peppers, hot peppers, asparagus, turnips, zucchini,
and tomatoes.


What are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates play numerous roles in living things. They provide storage and
transport of energy, assist in proper functioning of the immune system, and they also
play major roles in fertilization, pathogenesis, blood clotting, and development.


Function of Carbohydrates:
The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially
for the brain and nervous system.  Diet and Health organizations recommend that
carbohydrates should be the body's main energy source.  Carbohydrates provide
energy for the body's many functions such as jogging, breathing, thinking, and even
digesting food.  Glucose is the main component of carbohydrates and is used for
energy.  Carbohydrates are not essential nutrients for humans.  The body can obtain
all of its energy from protein and fats.  However, the brain and neurons generally
cannot burn fat and need glucose for energy.  The body can make some glucose
from a few of the amino acids in protein and also from tryglecerides (fats).  

Healthy carbohydrates also provide a large supply of fiber and nutrients that are
essential for the body's proper functioning.  Based on the effects on risk of heart
disease and obesity, the Institute of Medicine recommends that American and
Canadian adults get between 40-65% of their dietary energy from carbohydrates.
The Food and Agriculture Organization and World Health Organization jointly
recommend that national dietary guidelines set a goal of 55-75% of total energy
from carbohydrates, but only 10% should be from simple carbohydrates (sugars).

There are two basic forms of carbohydrates: Complex Carbohydrates (starches and
fiber) and Simple Carbohydrates (sugars).  Complex carbohydrates include legumes,
vegetables, and whole grains.  Simple carbohydrates include: fruits, dairy, some
vegetables, and processed and refined sugars such as candy, soda beverages,
syrups, and table sugar.  Complex carbohydrates provide the most nutrients and
least amount of sugar.   They promote good health by delivering vitamins, minerals,
fiber, and many important phytonutrients. Simple carbohydrates such as fruits and
dairy offer some nutrients and a higher content of sugars.  Processed and refined
sugars such as candy and soda are referred to as empty calories, because they offer
little to no nutrition and can lead to excessive weight gain and other health problems.  

Glycemic Index (GI) is a rating system that identifies a food's ability to raise blood
sugar levels on a scale of 0-100.  A low glycemic index means that the food will raise
blood sugar very little or not at all.  A high glycemic index means that the food will
cause blood sugar to raise above recommended levels.  Complex carbohydrates
have a low glycemic index, while most Simple carbohydrates have a medium or high
glycemic index.  Refined sugars and processed foods with refined sugars have an
extremely high glycemic index.  Eating mostly foods that have a low glycemic index
can reduce the risk of developing illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.  

Beans and Lentils are a good source of complex carbohydrates.  They contain a great
supply of plant protein, fiber, and many other nutrients.  Nuts and seeds are another
good source of complex carbohydrates, but they should be eaten in moderation due
to their high fat content.   Although whole grains contain complex carbohydrates and
are much healthier than refined grains, they should be eaten in moderation due to
gluten sensitivities and possible allergic reactions.   In regards to acidity and alkalinity,
whole grains such as wheat and rye (and anything with baker's yeast or gluten) are
acid forming.  Sprouted grains contain complex carbohydrates and are also alkalizing
to the body.  When choosing whole grains with the best nutritional value opt for
brown rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, and sprouted grains.   
List of Acid and Alkaline Foods


Deficiency of Carbohydrates:
Not getting enough carbohydrates can cause malnutrition and excessive intake of
fats. The malnutrition occurs due to the body not getting enough calories.  When fats
are substituted in place of complex carbohydrates, excessive weight gain and nutrient
deficiencies can occur.   


Toxicity (Carbohydrates Overdose):
Getting too many carbohydrates can cause excessive weight gain, which can lead to
obesity and other health problems.  


Caution: Eating plenty of vegetables, sprouted grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and
fruits (in moderation) is the safest and healthiest way to get an adequate supply of
healthy carbohydrates.  Due to risk of toxicity, individuals should always consult with
a knowledgeable health care provider before starting doses of supplements.  Before
giving supplements to children, it is recommended that you first consult with their
pediatrician.  Also, some supplements may interfere with medications.  If you are
taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with your physician before
taking any supplements.  All supplements should be kept in childproof bottles and out
of children's reach.


Good Carbohydrates Food Chart (List of Foods High in Complex and
Simple Carbohydrates):

vegetables, beans, lentils, peas, whole grains (brown rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa,
yeast-free sprouted grain breads), nuts and seeds (walnuts, almonds, pecans,
sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds), and fruits.

Complex Carbohydrates (Vegetables)
- Low Glycemic Index Vegetables (under 20):




- Medium Glycemic Index Vegetables (20-60):




- High Glycemic Index Vegetables (over 60):




Simple Carbohydrates (Fruits)
- Low Glycemic Index Fruits (under 20):  


- Medium Glycemic Index Fruits (20-60):




- High Glycemic Index Fruits (over 60):
Foods that are high in
carbohydrates include breads,
pastas, beans, vegetables, whole
grains, bran, cereals, processed
baked goods, processed sugars,
and fruits.  The best source of
"good" carbohydrates is
vegetables, sprouted grains,
beans, legumes, nuts and seeds
(in moderation), and fruits.  
Eating vegetables that are
nutrition dense and high in
complex carbohydrates can help
to prevent conditions such as
cancer, heart disease, diabetes,
arthritis, obeisity, and nutrient
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
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apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, cherries, cranberries, grapefruit, guava,
kiwis, lemons, limes, oranges, papayas, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries,
tangerines, and tomatoes.
cantaloupe, rhubarb
all dried fruit, blueberries, figs, grapes, kumquats, loganberries, mangoes,
mulberries, pears, pineapple, pomegranates, and watermelon.
asparagus, bean sprouts, beet greens, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery,
cucumber, endive lettuce, mustard greens, radishes, spinach, swiss chard, and
watercress.
aubergine, beets, Brussles sprouts, chives, collard greens, dandelion leaves, kale,
kohlrabi, leeks, okra, onions, parsley, peas, peppers, pimentos, pumpkin,
rutabagas, string beans, and turnips.
artichokes, carrots, corn, dried beans, lima beans, parsnips, potatoes, squash,
sweet potatoes, and yams.
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Sources:

American Dietetic Association: Complete Food And Nutrition Guide (2nd Edition)
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and More
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH

University of Maryland Medical Center - umm.edu

Linus Pauling Institute - oregonstate.edu

Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
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