Hire a tutor

What are the differences between simple and complex carbohydrates?

Simple carbohydrates are made up of one or two sugar molecules, while complex carbohydrates are made up of many.

Simple carbohydrates, also known as monosaccharides and disaccharides, are easily broken down by the body and provide a quick source of energy. Examples include glucose, fructose, and sucrose. However, consuming too many simple carbohydrates can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels and contribute to the development of conditions such as diabetes.

Complex carbohydrates, also known as polysaccharides, are made up of many sugar molecules linked together. They take longer to break down and provide a slower, more sustained source of energy. Examples include starches found in grains and vegetables, as well as glycogen found in animal tissues. Complex carbohydrates also provide important dietary fibre, which helps to regulate digestion and prevent constipation.

Overall, it is important to consume a balanced mix of both simple and complex carbohydrates as part of a healthy diet. Simple carbohydrates can be useful for providing a quick boost of energy, while complex carbohydrates provide sustained energy and important dietary fibre. However, it is important to be mindful of consuming too many simple carbohydrates, particularly those found in processed and sugary foods.

Study and Practice for Free

Trusted by 100,000+ Students Worldwide

Achieve Top Grades in your Exams with our Free Resources.

Practice Questions, Study Notes, and Past Exam Papers for all Subjects!

Need help from an expert?

4.92/5 based on480 reviews

The world’s top online tutoring provider trusted by students, parents, and schools globally.

Related Biology a-level Answers

    Read All Answers