Carbohydrates also called carbohydrates are the sugars, starches, and fibers found in a wide variety of foods such as fruits, grains, vegetables, and dairy products.
They are called carbohydrates since at a chemical level they contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
Carbohydrates are one of the basic food groups and are important to lead a healthy life.
They are macronutrients, which means that they are one of the three main forms of substances that the human body uses for energy or calories.
All macronutrients must be obtained from the diet; the body cannot produce them on its own.
Carbohydrates supply the body with glucose, which is converted into energy, which in turn is used to maintain bodily functions and physical activity.
The quality of carbohydrates is important.
The healthiest sources of carbohydrates are unprocessed or minimally processed such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Less healthy sources include white bread, cakes, sugary sodas, and other highly processed or refined foods.
It is the simplest form of carbohydrates. It occurs naturally in some foods, including fruits, vegetables, milk, and dairy products.
Sugars include fruit sugar (fructose), table sugar (sucrose), and milk sugar (lactose).
Starch is a complex carbohydrate, which means it is made from many units of sugar linked together.
Starch occurs naturally in vegetables, grains, cooked beans, and peas.
Fiber is also a complex carbohydrate, it occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cooked beans, and peas.
Carbohydrates provide fuel for the central nervous system and energy for muscles.
They also prevent protein from being used as an energy source and allow fat metabolism.
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Low or moderate in calories;
The high content of nutrients;
Lacking refined sugars and refined grains;
A high content of natural fiber;
Low in saturated fat;
Very low or devoid of cholesterol and trans fat.
High in calories;
Full of refined sugars, such as corn syrup, white sugar, honey, and fruit juices;
High in refined grains like white flour;
Low in nutrients;
Low in fiber;
High sodium content;
Sometimes high in saturated fat;
Sometimes high in trans fat and cholesterol;
Evidence suggests that whole grains and dietary fiber from whole foods help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Fiber can also protect against obesity and type 2 diabetes, this is essential for optimal digestive health.
Evidence shows that eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help control weight.
Its higher fiber content helps you feel satisfied with fewer calories.
Contrary to what they claim about low carb diets, very few studies show that a diet rich in healthy carbohydrates leads to weight gain or obesity.
Good carbohydrates contain fiber. It is difficult to get enough fiber on a low carbohydrate diet.
Dietary fiber helps you feel full, and it usually comes in relatively low-calorie foods.
Raw fruits and vegetables are known for their nutrient content.
Some are even considered superfoods.
An important and abundant source of good carbohydrates is whole grains.
Whole grains also contain antioxidants, previously thought to exist exclusively in fruits and vegetables.
Fiber helps lower cholesterol. The digestive process requires bile acids, which are made in part from cholesterol.
As your digestion improves, the amount of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, is reduced.
Not consuming enough carbohydrates can cause problems. Without enough fuel, the body does not receive energy.
Also without enough glucose, the central nervous system suffers, which can cause dizziness or physical and mental weakness. A glucose deficiency is called hypoglycemia.
If the body has insufficient carbohydrate intake it will consume protein as fuel.
This is problematic because the body needs protein to build muscles.
Using protein for fuel instead of carbohydrates puts stress on the kidneys because the by-products of protein metabolism must be eliminated in the urine.
People who do not consume enough carbohydrates can also suffer from insufficient fiber, which can cause digestive problems and constipation.