Complex (slow digesting) Carbs

By March 13, 20102 Comments

This chart outlines some choices for slow-digesting carbs. Mix and match them as recommended and your body will certainly respond.


Oatmeal (1 cup cooked)

Carbs: 25g

Speed note: Provides energy for hours and keeps your fat-burning furnace stoked. Eat it with fruit in the morning to stop catabolism.

Banana (1 medium)

Carbs: 27g

Speed note: The combination between glucose and fructose in bananas makes them a perfect morning food-guaranteed to switch off catabolism

Whole Wheat Pasta (1/2 cup)

Carbs: 37g

Speed note: At mealtimes, switch to this much slower-digesting counterpart to regular pasta.

Black Beans (1 cup)

Carbs: 41g

Speed note: Beans are also a good source of protein. One cup of black beans contains 14 grams

Brown Rice (1 cup)

Carbs: 46g

Speed note: Also labeled as whole-grain rice.

Sweet potato (1 medium)

Carbs: 24g

Speed note: Some people think that because sweet potatoes taste sweeter than white potatoes (hence the name), they are faster digesting, It’s actually the opposite, making them a great pre workout carb.

Wheat germ (1/2 cup)

Carbs: 28g

Speed note: This old bodybuilding fave is great when added to a pre workout protein shake-it not only provides slow carbs but also has a component that can boost strength.

Whole-wheat bread (2 slices)

Carbs: 26g

Speed note: A sandwich made with low-sugar fruit preserves on whole-wheat goes great with a pre workout protein shake.

Sourdough bread (2 large slices)

Carbs: 36g

Speed note: It may be white, but sourdough is actually slow-disgesting due to the cultures that are added to the dough. He bacteria break down some of the sugar, yielding the sour flavor  and leaving behind slower burning carbs.

Rye bread (2 slices)


Speed note: Rye bread is also a slower-digesting bread

Raisins, seedless (1/2cup)


Speed note: True, dried fruit has more sugar per serving, but raisins still fall into this category because they, like all fruit, contain slow-digesting fructose.

Lentils (1 cup cooked)


Speed note: Lentils are also a good source of extra protein-18 grams in 1 cup cooked.

Quinoa (1 cup cooked)


Speed note: Not only is quinoa an excellent whole-grain source of slow carbs, but it’s one of two vegetables with complete proteins. One cup has 5 grams.

Grapefruit (1/2 large)

Carbs: 13g

Speed note: Eating ½ of a grapefruit a day has been linked to a boost in fat loss.

Orange (1 large)

Carbs: 22g

Vitamin C has been shown to protect nitric oxide in the body. Making an orange a great preworkout food.


Also check out our post on Simple Carbs

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