Carbohydrates’ main role in the human body is energetic!
They are important, because most tissues in the human body use glucose for fuel!
In the body, carbs are broken down into smaller sugars. The body absorbs them and sends them on a road trip with the bloodstream.
There are two stops – The liver and the muscles.
The rest is being released in the bloodstream as free glucose, but not before the liver has worked it’s magic on it.
Often times, people are always asking themselves how much protein, how much carbs per day, etc.?
The thing with carbohydrates is quality over quantity!
The type of carbohydrate and what comes along with it (fiber, minerals, vitamins, etc.) is more important than the amount of carbohydrate consumed!
We have simple, we have complex, we have starchy, we have fibrous!
They are all found in a wide array of foods. Healthy and Unhealthy.
The ones to stay away from are usually refined and highly processed foods, such as sodas, candy, pastries and such.
Let‘s use candy for example!
The consumption and digestion of sugar raises blood sugar levels in the body. When blood sugar rises, the body produces insulin. This helps the body move sugar out of the blood and into the cells where it’s either used for energy or stored as fat for later use.
Here‘s how the quality of the sugar plays its role.
When we consume sugar from those bad sources/foods (e.g candy, soda, etc.) the blood sugar levels tend to rise rapidly, because there is no fiber or anything else that can control the levels at which the glucose (from carbs) is released into the bloodstream. This can be alarming as it increases risk of developing bad health conditions and in some cases – diseases.
Now, of course this scenario is kind of extreme, and is by no means the way things usually go.
What I wanted to illustrate above was just a principle!
Nutrition alone plays a minor role if not accompanied by a regular physical activity and other healthy habits like good sleep, enough water consumption and vice verse.
Now let‘s replace the candy with a banana!
Because bananas and fruits in general are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins, as well as carbs, they (fruits in general) are considered a high quality carb source.
Fiber helps with blood sugar level regulation!
One of the many health benefits of fiber consumption.
This is where the thin line is drawn between good and bad quality carb sources. The good ones are usually unprocessed whole grains, fruits, vegetables, etc.
Here are some general guidelines and foods to look for when picking out Your Quality Carb Sources/Foods:
- From a health prespective, consuming the exact amounts of carbohydrates is not nearly as important as consuming the right sources of carbohydrate! Body composition is the opposite, to a degree!
- Oats – Slow digestion, assuring a steady-maintenance of glucose levels in the bloodstream can have a positive effect on one‘s health.
- Fruits – In general fruits are fruits, you know, there‘s really not much I can say about fruits, that You haven‘t heard?
I would say that, compared to oats – Fruits digest faster, they are richer in overall vitamin and mineral content and that‘s about it!
- Vegetables – Rich in Fiber, like fruits, but lower in calories.
- There are lots of other sources, but these are a few simple choices!
That‘s the thing about dieting – Adherance is key! Complicating stuff will only make it harder to adhere! Keep it simple, stupid!
It‘s about quality!
Choosing the „bad carbs“ (candy, soda, etc.) will provide the body with energy (via calories).
The „good carbs“ (fruits, oats, etc.) will do the same, plus some health benefits on the side!