Many people are hesitant to eat carbohydrates because they have been told that carbohydrates cause you to get fat. This fear can make people eat unhealthy by following strange diets or develop bad eating habits. Resulting in feeling worse instead of better and even a yo-yo effect is developed, weight going up and down. In this blog we explain about carbohydrates and why you really need them.
Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the body. They are absorbed more quickly than fats and proteins. Your body converts carbohydrates into glucose, which in turn is converted into glycogen by your liver. Glycogen directly supplies energy for physical exercise.
A distinction is drawn between simple and complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates consist mainly of sugars and are contained in cakes, sweets, sugar, ice cream, soft drinks and juices, for example. They cause your blood sugar level to rise quickly and to fall again quickly afterwards. This rapid fall causes hunger peaks, which is something you want to avoid as much as possible.
Complex carbohydrates are slowly absorbed by your body. As a result, their effect is satiating and you avoid that hungry feeling. Complex carbohydrates are found in vegetables, tubers, legumes, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, wholemeal bread and wholegrain breakfast cereals.
After eating a meal high in carbohydrates, your blood sugar level rises. How quickly glucose is absorbed into your bloodstream varies from one food to another. Products containing simple carbohydrates cause a rapid, large spike in your blood sugar level whereas products containing complex carbohydrates keep your blood sugar level constant. The latter is what you want to achieve. How quickly carbohydrates are absorbed is indicated by the Glycemic Index (GI). Generally speaking, we can say that good, healthy carbohydrates have a GI of less than 50.
Carbohydrates with a low GI
Good carbohydrates are an essential part of your daily diet. Good carbohydrates have a positive effect on your cholesterol levels and on weight loss. Good carbohydrates help achieve a satiated feeling and regular bowel movements because they are generally high in fibre. It is a good idea to drink plenty of water to go with them.
Carbohydrates with a high GI
In contrast to the sugars in good carbohydrates, we don't need the sugars in bad carbohydrates. Good carbohydrates contain fibre, which is not found in bad carbohydrates. Fibre is important because it aids proper digestion. Carbohydrates with a high GI quickly make you feel full, but they offer no benefits in the long term.