Utilizing Carbohydrates for Energy
Carbohydrates are the main energy source of your body. While these nutrients are digested and sent into the blood as glucose, they alert pancreatic cells to release insulin. Insulin, in turn, brings glucose to the cells where it undergoes metabolism so it becomes energy.
Since they provide most of your body’s energy requirements, it’s important that you always include carbohydrates in your diet. However, note that not all carbohydrates are the same. For a good sense of well-being, you have to power your body with carbohydrates of the healthy kind. How might you spot the difference between carbohydrates that are healthy and unhealthy?
Simple versus Complex Carbohydrates
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Generally, carbohydrates are grouped into two main sets: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are called “simple” because they are composed of a maximum of two sugars like fructose and sucrose.
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On the other hand, starchy carbohydrates fall under the complex category since they are composed of long sugar chains. Decades back, people believed that simple carbohydrates were unhealthy and must therefore be eaten in small amounts. Also, complex carbohydrates were hailed for being the healthier option, having supposedly minimal effects on blood sugar levels.
Carbohydrates and Glycemic Index
But according to recent research, there is so much more going on in this picture. Now, it has been discovered that carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels beyond the simple-complex concept.
Starchy complex carbohydrates like rice and potatoes can increase blood sugar levels as fast as simple carbs, while the effects of complex grains rely more on such issues as particle size. Instant oatmeal, for instance, will create effects that are different from those created by whole oats. It is because of this that evaluating carbohydrates these days has been deemed more effective when based on the glycemic value of the food. Experts have used this method and found that carbohydrates with low glycemic values are healthier.
Why Choose Low-glycemic Carbohydrates?
Healthy carbohydrates that have low glycemic values are converted into glucose and taken up by the bloodstream. This indicates that fluctuations in your insulin levels will be more controlled, leading to appetite reduction and energy sustenance. Low-glycemic carbohydrates are also found to decrease a person’s risk of insulin resistance and other related conditions. Some foods that have low glycemic values include fruits and vegetables as well as legumes.
Negative Effects of High-glycemic Carbohydrates
Long term, excessive high-glycemic carbohydrate consumption, on the other hand, increases the body’s risk of being insulin-resstant, resulting in diabetes, and weight gain. Examples of foods containing high-glycemic values include cold cereals, pasta and bread, among others.
Therefore, to help in achieving good health and well-being, it’s wise to choose low-glycemic over high glycemic carbohydrates.by