What Are Carbs? Types and Health Benefits, Whole Versus Refined Carbohydrates

What Are Carbs?

What are carbohydrates (carbs)? Complex vs. Refined carbohydrates: types and health benefits.

Are carbohydrates the body's preferred source of energy?

By the time you finish reading this article, you will understand the body's needs, functions and the roles carbs play in our nutrition.

Good and Bad

What Are Good and Bad Carbs?

We start our discussion by comparing complex and simple carbohydrates.

♥ Complex carbohydrates, also called good carbs, examples include bread, pasta, vegetables, and cereals. They are also usually higher in fiber when compared to simple carbs.

The Benefits

What Are the Benefits of Good Carbs?

♥ Good carbs are digested at a slower rate than simple carbohydrates.

♥ This slower digestion offers a more continual and stable flow of energy.

Bad Examples

What Are Bad Carbs?

♥ Simple carbohydrates, bad carbs, deliver the same amount of energy, four calories per gram, but at a far more rapid pace.

♥ Therefore, simple carbohydrates provide an immediate boost in blood sugar.

♥ But the boost comes with a price; it wears off quickly and more is needed to sustain blood sugar levels.

♥ As a result, excess food cravings are experienced and may cause individuals to increase their calorie consumption.

♥ Thus, simple carbohydrates should be avoided within your diet and why many classify them as bad carbs. Examples include sugar, honey, soda, and candy. Simple carbs are not a good choice for someone with diabetes or who needs to stabilize their blood sugar.

The Body and Glucose

What Does Your Body Do with Carbs?

♥ Sugar and carbohydrates are broken down into smaller versions called glucose.

♥ All cells in the human body depend on glucose.

♥ This makes carbohydrates the body's number one energy source.

♥ The brain and nervous system run directly off glucose.

♥ The human body will convert protein to glucose without enough carbohydrates in the diet.

♥ Carbohydrates spare other nutrients, protein, for example, and allow these nutrients to carry out their intended functions.

Thermogenic Effects

What Are Carbohydrates Thermogenic Effects?

Carbohydrates offer a thermogenic effect that will increase calorie burning. This will cause your body to burn more calories every time you eat.

If your diet is high in fat, the fat is put faster into storage. To top it off, fat is much harder to take out of lipid stores and be used as energy.

♥ Carbohydrates on the other hand, use 23 percent of consumed calories to store carbohydrates. In contrast, fat uses only 3 percent of the consumed calories.

Role in the Body

What Is Carbs Role in the Body?

♥ Carbohydrates should make up 50% to 60% of your calories.

♥ Most of your calories should come from complex carbohydrates.

♥ Less than ten percent of your calories should come from refined sugars.

♥ This will decrease low blood sugar, increase energy expenditure, increase satiety and satisfaction.

♥ Carbohydrates are glucose, glycogen, sugar, starches, fiber, cellulose, and various saccharides.

♥ In plain English, complex carbohydrates are the most desirable because they burn more slowly.

♥ Foods such as breads made from whole grains, fruit in its natural state, raw, and raw vegetables are examples of excellent carbohydrates.

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