Posted: 20/03/2013 at 18:21
I love lentils - especially the brown ones that don't go mushy. Most types of pulses really, although I don't much like flageolot beans - not only because I can't spell it!
Carbohydrates can either be simple or complex. Simple sugars (glucose, fructose, galactose) don't need to be broken down in the body - they can be used directly for energy. Complex carbs are made up of more than one molecule of sugar (starch, which pasta has lots of, is made up of lots of glucose molecules stuck together). Your body has to break them down in order to use the simple sugars for energy. That's what the enzymes in your saliva and stomach do. You know how if you chew on pasta for ages it starts to taste sweet? That's because it's turning into sugar.
Pasta is mostly complex carbohydrate and so it takes a while for your body to break it down into usable sugar. Some carbs take longer to release their energy than others - they're the low GI ones. You get a more sustained supply of energy and that's good for controlling your weight because your blood sugar is more stable, and so you don't crash and crave everything in sight. Wholewheat takes longer to break down and so the release is slower again.
The type of carbs in vegetabes varies from veg to veg, really. Potatoes, peas, and winter squash are much more starchy than leafy vegetables, which are mostly water and sugar. Sweetcorn has a high calorie content but humans can't break down the cellulose of the kernel, so it doesn't get digested.
Fruit has much more sugar than starch - basically, if it's sweet it's sugary and if it isn't it's starchy