Low Carb Diets – What the Heck Are Carbs Anyway?
Carbohydrates are basically sugar and starch. Apples, oranges, potatoes, grains, candy, bread… are all carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the most common source of energy in living organisms. Carbohydrates are composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. They are organic substances.
Carbohydrates are the body’s major source of energy which enables the many body organs to function properly. Carbohydrates taken in by the body is broken down into glucose which provides the much needed energy of the human body. Carbohydrates are considered simple or complex and both types contain four calories per gram.
Both are also digested into a blood sugar called glucose, which is then used to fuel our bodies for work or exercise. Blood glucose is removed and pushed into the cells by insulin. Carbohydrates are in fact the nutrient most responsible for raising blood sugar. When the glucose from digested carbohydrates enters the blood stream, your blood sugar rises.
Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source and are one of the three main macronutrients it needs to function properly. If they are consumed in moderation carbs can provide your body with energy and multiple nutrients.
They are your primary source of energy or fuel at 1,600 calories per pound.
Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel during exercise of high intensity but they are stored in extremely limited amounts in the body. Carbohydrates are also used by working muscles and many other organs of the body, because they are readily available and fast-acting fuels.
Carbohydrates are not bad for you. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains are the best way to lose weight, keep it off and lower your risk for obesity related diseases.
Carbohydrates are widely available in normal diets, even in the poorest countries, but the preferred sources of carbohydrates are cereals (wheat, rye, corn, etc.), fruits, and vegetables, which also contain adequate fiber and other nutrients. There are no specified daily requirements for carbohydrates, but about 100 grams of carbohydrates should be enough to prevent breakdown of the body stores of proteins and fats.
Carbohydrates are found in foods of plant origin and in dairy products. They are generally not found in fats or animal proteins, but they are often added to processed meats. Carbohydrates are one of four major classes of biological molecules, along with nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. They are the most abundant biological molecules, and are an important nutritional component of many foods.
Complex carbohydrates are found in nearly all foods of plant origin: fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. These foods, especially when they are only slightly refined, are often high in nutrient density. This term compares the overall nutritive value of the ingredients found in the food to its energy or calorie content.
Complex carbs make up the bulk of most diets. They stay in the body longer than any other type of carb and are utilized over extended periods of time. Complex carbohydrates are not as easily digestible as simple carbohydrates. They are broken down before they are absorbed into the bloodstream.
Complex carbohydrates are glucose molecules usually combined with fiber, cellulose and starches. They provide more nutritional variety than simple carbohydrates and are a major source of dietary fiber, which is not found in animal products. Complex carbohydrates have less than half as many calories as the same amount of fat. One gram of complex carbohydrate has four calories; one gram of fat has nine calories.
Complex carbohydrates are the good carbohydrates for your body.