What are carbohydrates

What are Carbohydrates, the required intake and what carbohydrates is made up of

Alot of us have known the word Carbohydrates almost from our child old days but don’t really know what made up carbohydrate.

Today we are going to treat what are Carbohydrates and make it as clear possible to you knowing what are Carbohydrates and it daily recommended dose.

Carbohydrate are important group of foods for a healthy diet, Carbohydrates are sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products.

Carbohydrates are macro nutrients, they are one of the three main macro nutrients that the body obtains energy from.

However carbohydrate are the body’s main source of energy and they are called carbohydrates because, at the chemical level, they contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

There are three macro nutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fats.

These Macro nutrients are essential for proper body functioning, and the body requires large amounts of them.

All macro nutrients must be obtained through diet as the body cannot produce macro nutrients on its own.

The recommended daily amount of carbohydrates for adults is 135 grams, however, it would be recommended everyone should have his or her own carbohydrate goal you can visit your doctor for a carbohydrates goal.

Carbohydrates intake for most people should be between 45% and 65% of total calories.

One gram of carbohydrates equals to about 4 calories, so a diet of 1,800 calories per day would equal about 202 grams on the low end and 292 grams of Carbohydrates on the high end.

However, people with diabetes should not eat more than 200 grams of carb per day, while pregnant women need at least 175 grams.

Function of carbohydrates

  1.  Carbohydrates provide fuel for the central nervous system and energy for working muscles.
  2. Carbohydrates also prevent protein from being used as an energy source and enable fat metabolism.
  3.  Carbohydrates are also important for brain function. They are an influence on mood, memory, etc., as well as a quick energy source. In fact, the RDA of carbohydrates is based on the amount of carbohydrates the brain needs to function.

Two recent studies that was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences have also linked Carbohydrates to decision-making.

In the studies, people who ate high carbohydrate breakfast were less willing to share when playing the “ultimatum game” than those who ate high protein breakfasts.

Scientists speculate this may be caused by baseline dopamine levels, which are higher after eating carbohydrates.

This doesn’t mean Carbohydrates make you mean, but underscores how different types of food intake can affect cognition and behavior.

Simple vs. complex carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are classified as simple or complex, The difference between the two forms is the chemical structure and how quickly the sugar is absorbed and digested. Generally speaking, simple Carbohydrates are digested and absorbed more quickly and easily than complex Carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates contain just one or two sugars, such as fructose and galactose. These single sugars are called Mimosa chlorides.

Carbohydrates with two sugars such as sucrose, lactose and maltose are called disaccharides, according to the NIH.

Simple Carbohydrates are also in candy, soda and syrups. However, these foods are made with processed and refined sugars and do not have vitamins, minerals or fiber. They are called empty calories and can lead to weight gain.

Complex carbohydrates have three or more sugars. They are often referred to as starchy foods and include beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, potatoes, corn, parsnips, whole-grain breads and cereals.

while all carbohydrates function as relatively quick energy sources, simple Carbohydrates cause bursts of energy much more quickly than complex Carbohydrates because of the quicker rate at which they are digested and absorbed.

Simple Carbohydrates can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels and sugar highs, while complex Carbohydrates provide more sustained energy.

Studies have shown that replacing saturated fats with simple Carbohydrates, such as those in many processed foods, is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

It’s best to focus on getting primarily complex Carbohydrates in your diet, including whole grains and vegetables.”

Sugars, starches and fibers

In the body, Carbohydrates break down into smaller units of sugar, such as glucose and fructose.

The small intestine absorbs these smaller units, which then enter the bloodstream and travel to the liver.

The liver converts all of these sugars into glucose, which is carried through the bloodstream accompanied by insulin and converted into energy for basic body functioning and physical activity.

If the glucose is not immediately needed for energy, the body can store up to 2,000 calories of it in the liver and skeletal muscles in the form of glycogen.

Once glycogen stores are full, Carbohydrates are stored as fat. If you have insufficient carbohydrate intake or stores, the body will consume protein for fuel.

This is problematic because the body needs protein to make muscles, Using protein instead of carbohydrates for fuel also puts stress on the kidneys, leading to the passage of painful byproducts in the urine.

Carbohydrates are also found naturally in some forms of dairy and both starchy and non starchy vegetables.

For example, non starchy vegetables like lettuces, kale, green beans, celery, carrots and broccoli all contain carbs.

Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn also contain carbohydrates, but in larger amounts.

non starchy vegetables generally contain only about 5 grams of carbohydrates per cup of raw vegetables, and most of those carbs come from fiber.

And Fiber is essential for digestion. Fibers promote healthy bowel movements and decrease the risk of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease and diabetes, unlike sugars and starches, fibers are not absorbed in the small intestine and are not converted to glucose.

Instead, they pass into the large intestine relatively intact, where they are converted to hydrogen and carbon dioxide and fatty acids.

So it is recommends that people consume 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories.

Sources of fiber include fruits, grains and vegetables, especially legumes.

Good Carbohydrates vs bad Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are found in foods you know are good for you (vegetables) and ones you know are not (doughnuts).

This has led to the idea that some Carbohydrates are “good” and some are “bad.”

According to Healthy Geezer Fred Cicetti, Carbohydrates commonly considered bad include pastries, sodas, highly processed foods, white rice, white bread and other white flour foods.

These are foods with simple Carbohydrates. Bad Carbohydrates rarely have any nutritional value.

Carbohydrates usually considered good are complex Carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes.

These are not only processed more slowly, but they also contain a bounty of other nutrients.

The Pritikin Longevity Center offers this checklist for determining if a carbohydrate is “good” or “bad.”

Good carbs are:

Low or moderate in calories

High in nutrients

Devoid of refined sugars and refined grains

High in naturally occurring fiber

Low in sodium

Low in saturated fat

Very low in, or devoid of, cholesterol and trans fats

Bad carbs are:

High in calories

Full of refined sugars, like corn syrup, white sugar, honey and fruit juices

High in refined grains like white flour

Low in many nutrients

Low in fiber

High in sodium

Sometimes high in saturated fat

Sometimes high in cholesterol and trans fats

Glycemic index

Recently, nutritionists have said that it’s not the type of carbohydrate, but rather the Carbohydrates glycemic index, that’s important.

The glycemic index measures how quickly and how much a carbohydrate raises blood sugar.

Highs glycemic foods like pastries raise blood sugar highly and rapidly; low glycemic foods raise it gently and to a lesser degree.

Some research has linked highs glycemic foods with diabetes, obesity, heart disease and certain cancers.

On the other hand, recent research suggests that following a lost glycemic diet may not actually be helpful.

Carbohydrate benefits

The right kind of Carbohydrates can be incredibly good for you.

Not only are they necessary for your health, but they carry a variety of added benefits.

– Mental health

Carbohydrates may be important to mental health Scientists suspect that carbohydrates help with the production of serotonin in the brain.

Carbs may help memory, too. A 2008 study at Tufts University had overweight women cut Carbohydrates entirely from their diets for one week. Then, they tested the women’s cognitive skills, visual attention and spatial memory.

The women on no carbohydrate diets did worse than overweight women on low calorie diets that contained a healthy amount of carbohydrates.

– Weight loss

Though Carbohydrates are often blamed for weight gain, the right kind of Carbohydrates can actually help you lose and maintain a healthy weight.

This happens because many good carbohydrates, especially whole grains and vegetables with skin, contain fiber. It is difficult to get sufficient fiber on a low Carbohydrates diet.

Dietary fiber helps you to feel full, and generally comes in relatively low calorie foods.

some studies have found that low Carbohydrates diets do help people lose weight, a meta analysis conducted in 2015 and published in The Lancet found that when viewed long term, low fat and low Carbohydrates diets had similar success rates.

People lost more weight early on while on low Carbohydrates diets but after a year they were all in similar places.

Good source of nutrients

Whole, unprocessed fruits and vegetables are well known for their nutrient content.

Some are even considered superfoods because of it — and all of these leafy greens, bright sweet potatoes, juicy berries, tangy citruses and crunchy apples contain carbs.

One important, plentiful source of good carbs is whole grains. A large study published in 2010 in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that those eating the most whole grains had significantly higher amounts of fiber, energy and polyunsaturated fats, as well as all micronutrients (except vitamin B12 and sodium).

An additional study, published in 2014 in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, found that whole grains contain antioxidants, which were previously thought to exist almost exclusively in fruits and vegetables.

– Heart health

Fiber also helps to lower cholesterol, said Kelly Toups, a registered dietitian with the Whole Grains Council. The digestive process requires bile acids, which are made partly with cholesterol.

As your digestion improves, the liver pulls cholesterol from the blood to create more bile acid, thereby reducing the amount of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol.

Toups referenced a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that looked at the effect of whole grains on patients taking cholesterol-lowering medications called statins. Those who ate more than 16 grams of whole grains daily had lower bad-cholesterol levels than those who took the statins without eating the whole grains.

Carbohydrate deficiency

Not getting enough carbohydrates can cause problems. Without sufficient fuel, the body gets no energy.

Additionally, without sufficient glucose, the central nervous system suffers, which may cause dizziness or mental and physical weakness, according to Iowa State University.

A deficiency of glucose, or low blood sugar, is called hypoglycemia.

If the body has insufficient carbohydrate intake or stores, it will consume protein for fuel.

This is problematic because the body needs protein to make muscles. Using protein for fuel instead of carbohydrates also puts stress on the kidneys, leading to the passage of painful byproducts in the urine, according to the University of Cincinnati.

People who don’t consume enough carbohydrates may also suffer from insufficient fiber, which can cause digestive problems and constipation.

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