All Carbohydrates containing foods are definitely not the same. A lot of studies were being done on just one nutrient and it is becoming more evident to the scientific community that studying one nutrient separate from the whole food is a flawed idea. Foods do not exist in nature that are composed of just one nutrient. The refined foods, the foods that are stripped of nutrients, the foods responsible for the idea that carbohydrates make you fat, those foods are composed of sugars, saturated fats, trans-saturated fats and void of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, phytonutrients, polyphenols, bioflavanoids, ect. What I am crawling towards is the idea that the metabolic performance of whole foods is different than the metabolic performance of the consumption of those same refined nutrients in those whole foods. Science has not come close to identifying all the nutrient interaction that occurs during digestion, and their is nothing wrong with that. Nutrient interaction is mind boggling. We have several very useful models of what occurs during digestion, absorption and metabolism, and that is what we work from to achieve useful results. Nutrients are not nutrients just like a calorie is not a calorie.
I would be concerned not only with the type of carbohydrate you consume, but the type of food in which the carbohydrate exists. Am i eating a refined product or am I eating a whole food? I would be eating the whole foods a large majority of the time, especially on a high calorie diet. The refined foods just do not possess the nutrition to deal with daily living in a life supporting manner. Every day the body deals with oxidative stress, stress, toxicity, metabolic requirements, ect. The foods that support those needs are whole foods, fruits, vegetable, nuts, seeds, beans, and on a smaller scale used as a tool, animal protein.
I feel like describing the above was necessary to give you a really adequate answer to your question. You are going to make a food choice based on the information you have and I do not want you to get lost in growth but rather in health then growth. When i talk about carbohydrates below and discuss digestion i am referring to that type of carbohydrate and its ingestion by itself. The rate of digestion is different when the carbohydrates are ingested as: carb- protein, or carb-fat, or carb-fat-protein. Also the longer the carbohydrate chain the longer that chain will take to digest.
Complex and simple are general categories that describe the number of Carbon-hydrogen-Oxygen atoms found in a 1-2-1 ratio in the chain of carbohydrates. Carb(carbon)-o(oxygen)-hydr(hydrogen) the suffix -ate is the result of naming the chemical compound containing carbon-hydrogen-oxygen. I am sure you have at some point heard of the terms mono-saccharride, di-saccharride,tri-saccharrides, tetra-saccharrides, oligo-saccharride, and poly-saccharride. These are all different terms used to categorize different lengths of carbohydrate chains.
The shorter the chain the quicker the carbohydrate is digested. Simple carbohydrates are associated with the term high glycemic. Simple carbohydrates digest faster and generally do not contain any fiber. carbohydrates are the shorter chain carbohydrates: mono-saccharrides, and di-saccharrides. Mono-saccharrides consist of a single carbohydrate molecule. Types of mono-saccharrides are: Glucose, fructose, and deoxyribose. Di-saccharrides are composed of two mono-saccharrides. Types of di-saccharrides are: sucrose, lactose, maltose, trehalose, turanose, cellobiose.
Oligo-saccharrides are carbohydrate polymers consisting of 3-7 mono-saccharride units. Tri- and tetra-saccharrides fall under these categories respectively possessing 3 and 4 mono-saccharrides each.
Poly-saccharrides are composed of many different saccharride units linked by glucosidic bonds. Complex carbohydrates fall under this category. Such complex carbohydrates are: cellulose(plant starch/fiber) humans do not hve the appropriate enzymes to digest cellulose, glycogen(human starch).
Understanding chemistry will provide you with a more clear explanation of the different nutrients and nutrient categories that get talked about so frequently in different magazines and subcultures. We are really giving shorter names and different slang to chemical compounds that exist in food. It should be obvious that if you want a greater understanding of food then you need a greater understanding of chemistry.
I hope i provided you with some clarity.
Having said the above remember that the carbohydrate by itself is not your sole concern. Your concern is finding nutrient dense foods that have carbohydrates in them b/c at the moment research heavily supports whole foods nutrition over refined nutrient consumption for health.