Carbohydrates provide you with the energy your body needs. Simple carbohydrates furnish quick energy that burns rapidly. They generally come from sugars and starches. Whole grains, vegetables, legumes and nuts contain complex carbohydrates, which supply energy but burn more slowly than simple carbohydrates. Fats also supply your body with energy -- they are calorically dense and, as a result, very satiating. Eating a combination of carbohydrates and fats can give your body energy while providing satiation.
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Nuts are a source of complex carbohydrates, unsaturated fats and heart-healthy antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The Mayo Clinic says that nuts contain unsaturated fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, L-arginine, fiber, vitamin E and plant sterols. About 80 percent of nuts come from fat. Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans all contain complex carbohydrates and fats.
Beans, lentils, peas, garbanzo beans and peanuts are all legumes. Legumes are a class of vegetable. They are a source of fiber and complex carbohydrates. Most legumes are relatively low in fat, although some like peanuts and soy nuts contain more fat. They are high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, folate, magnesium and potassium. Soy products such as tofu and soy milk are made from legumes and can add complex carbohydrates, fat and protein to your diet, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Seeds contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, fat and protein. They make a healthy snack to provide your body with energy and nutrients. Flax seeds are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Pumpkin seeds are high in manganese, magnesium phosphorus, iron and copper. Seeds contain mono-unsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy fats, says World's Healthiest Foods. Sunflower and sesame seeds are rich in phytosterols, which have been shown to lower cholesterol.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are high in simple and complex carbohydrates. They are also high in fiber. Some fruits such as avocados, coconuts, cashews and acai berries also contain healthy fats. Fruits and vegetables are a source of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
Grains such as whole wheat, brown rice, millet and oats all contain complex carbohydrates and small amounts of fat. They are a source of fiber, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Whole grains are high in complex carbohydrates, while processed grains like white flour are primarily starches that contain mostly simple carbohydrates.