Karen Seraphine There has been a lot of debate over the past few
years as to the benefits of eating carbohydrates (often referred to
“carbs”). There are many people who believe that consuming
carbohydrates will “make them fat.” This ideas originated with the
fad diets of the 1970s, when people eliminated carbs from their
diets and lost weight at an extremely high rate.
There has been a lot of debate over the past few years as to the benefits of eating carbohydrates (often referred to as “carbs”).
There are many people who believe that consuming carbohydrates will “make them fat.” This ideas originated with the fad diets of the 1970s, when people eliminated carbs from their diets and lost weight at an extremely high rate.
What these people did not realize, however, was that the weight loss came from water, not from fat. Therefore, it came as no surprise that when they added carbohydrates back into their diets, the weight came back just as quickly as it was lost.
The fact of the matter is that carbohydrates are a necessary part of your diet. Their functions are very clear: to provide a major source of fuel to the body and to provide dietary fiber, which helps the systems of the body to run smoothly.
Carbohydrates are divided into two categories: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates (or sugars) are easily digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. They can be found in foods like fruit and milk, which also provide the body with vitamins and minerals.
However, much of the simple sugars consumed by the average person come in the form of soda, cookies, cakes, and candy. These sources provide the body with little or no nutrients, just calories.
Complex carbohydrates take longer for the body to break down. These are found in breads, rice, cereal, and potatoes. It should be noted, however, that complex carbohydrates made with white flour do not offer the benefits as those made of whole wheat (or other whole grain) flour. In addition, complex carbohydrates provide fiber as well as vitamins and minerals.
It is important to recognize that carbohydrates are the body’s best source of energy. As these foods move through the digestive system, they are broken down into a form called glucose, which is usable by the body.
Glucose is the only form of carbohydrate that the body can use directly for energy and the only energy source used by the brain and the nervous system. Glucose can be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen and used for energy during exercise.
Carbohydrates are the most important nutrient for exercising muscles; even more so than protein. If, during exercise, you are having trouble maintaining normal intensities, chances are that you do not have enough glycogen stores. Unless adequate glycogen levels are reached, your performance will continue to suffer to the point that even low intensity exercise is difficult.
Carbohydrates also directly affect your body’s insulin levels. Insulin, a substance produced and secreted by your pancreas, keep your blood glucose levels in check. Too much insulin in the bloodstream is a major contributing factor for diabetes, obesity, cancer, and heart disease.
For people without complications, insulin is released and levels out blood glucose when carbohydrates are consumed.
So, as you can see, carbohydrates are a very important part of your daily dietary intake. If your diet is a “no-carb” diet, you will miss out on many important nutrients and your body will not function properly.
If you’re still not sure what to do, if you have any questions, or would like more information, please contact me @ (408) 981-1566 or email me at [email protected].