Carbohydrates sometimes called carbs are the main source of energy for the body and include both simple sugars and larger complex carbohydrates. Your body can use carbohydrates right away or convert them into a storage form called glycogen. Excess carbohydrates can also be converted to fat.
Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet, but there’s much discussion about the good and bad carbohydrates. So how do you know which is which? The answer is both simple – and complex.
Carbohydrates can be either simple (nicknamed “bad”) or complex (nicknamed “good”) based on their chemical makeup and what your body does with them. Complex carbohydrates, like whole grains and potatoes, contain longer chains of sugar molecules; these usually take more time for the body to break down and use. This, in turn, provides you with a more even amount of energy.
Simple carbohydrates are composed of simple-to-digest, basic sugars with little real value for your body. The higher in sugar and lower in fibre, the worse the carbohydrate is for you remember those leading indicators when trying to figure out if a carbohydrate is good or bad.
Fruits and vegetables are actually simple carbohydrates still composed of basic sugars, although they are drastically different from other foods in the category, like cookies and cakes. The fiber in fruits and vegetables changes the way that the body processes their sugars and slows down their digestion, making them a bit more like complex carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates are considered “good” because of the longer series of sugars that make them up and take the body more time to break down. They generally have a lower glycemic load, which means that you will get lower amounts of sugars released at a more consistent rate instead of peaks and valleys to keep you going throughout the day.
Picking complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates is a matter of making some simple substitutions when it comes to your meals. “Have brown rice instead of white rice, have whole-wheat pasta instead of plain white pasta
Complete abstinence from carbohydrates is not a healthy choice in the long run. A necessary nutrient, carbohydrates supply the body with energy and fiber. Bulkier carbs that are low in calories fill you up. Even the human brain reacts to the ingestion of carbs, releasing chemicals upon their absorption. A certain amount of carbs is needed to function properly, and insufficient intake may cause fatigue, muscle cramps, and poor mental function. Although carbs are an important part of our diet, the body can produce energy from fat and proteins alone; while this may do for short periods of time, avoiding all carbs will adversely affect the body.