What do carbohydrates do for your body?
Carbohydrates are energy to your cells. But you need protein too. It’s not possible to repair a car just by filling the tank with gasoline — same thing with the body. You usually require 50 % of your energy from carbohydrates. But that number is a little unsure. If you want to lose weight, you should reduce the intake of carbs because too much can prevent you from losing weight. Some recommend a higher intake of protein because it can avoid hunger.
Types of carbohydrates
Photosynthesis is the process where plants convert sunlight to sugar. That’s how to make carbohydrates. The chemical elements are Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen.
There are three main types of carbohydrates. There are starches (known as complex carbohydrates), sugar and fiber. You can say sugar is simple carbohydrates. Very easy to digest, high impact on the body. But don’t last long. Starches are more complex than other carbs. Takes a long time for the body to digest. But they provide a lot longer and stable source of energy. Fibers give a healthy stomach and digestion. You can feel it if you’re low on fibers.
Sugar is so-called empty calories because it lacks vitamins and minerals. So overeating sugar and fast carbohydrates and it will fill too much and prevent you from getting the good stuff. There are two kinds of sugar. Natural sugar and added sugar. You can find natural sugar in milk and fruit. Added sugar is white sugar in sweets and cookies to mention two examples. Basically, for the body, it’s just sugar. No difference. But if you eat an apple, it’s no longer concentrated sugar. But beware of concentrated apple or orange juice. Despite it’s named natural sugar.
If you eat white bread, you will only get one part of the grain. The white flavor. If you eat full-grain food, you will as the name says to get all the contents of the grain.
Good carbohydrates can keep you going for more extended periods. It’s not fast energy. But stable energy and you don’t become tired so easy.
Bad carbohydrates are:
High in calories
High in refined sugar
Low in nutrients
Low in fiber
High in refined grains like white flour
Good carbs are:
Low in calories
High in nutrients
High in fiber
Very low in cholesterol and fat
Devoid of refined sugar and refined grains
So in an ideal world. Get rid of sugar and refined flavor. You don’t need it.
Impact on body
The overall problem is if you eat more carbohydrate than you can burn. So the body will store it instead. You can store up to 2000 calories in the liver and muscles before it’s converted to fat. There have been discussions about this subject before. But right now it’s a fact. If the body doesn’t burn sugar and other carbohydrates, they are stored as fat instead.
It’s a perfect system. But in our part of the world with tons of food, it works against us.
So to lose weight. Get the fat converted back to energy. But it’s a lot harder.
So let’s have a look at some healthy types of carbohydrate:
Looks boring but there’s almost not enough words to tell how healthy it is. Loaded with vitamins and minerals. It wins over virtually any kind of vegetables. You can compare it with. Especially if avoiding peeling it. It can cover almost your daily need for vitamin C.
Of course, fresh new potatoes are the best. They are perfect for blood sugar. That’s because the starch has a structure that makes it harder to digest, so it gives a more stable blood sugar. Easy for the body to handle.
Boiling potatoes can achieve the same and put them in the refrigerator until the next day. That too will change the structure of the starch so they will be slower to digest. That’s a handy little trick. You can do the same with pasta. Just make sure to put it in the refrigerator.
But please avoid potatoes in the form of chips and french fries because they are fried in oil and kills the vitamins. Makes them very fat and unhealthy.
But please include potatoes in every healthy diet.
You can call oats superfood. Like potatoes, it has a long list of good qualities. Very unexpected, it contains a lot of protein. 150 gram of oat contains as much protein as a piece of chicken breast. There’s some amount of fat too. But that’s the healthy kind. Grease for your body. There’s a lot of fibers. Very good for the stomach and digestion. So it takes a longer time before you become hungry again.
You can eat oatmeal with milk and a little sugar. A more healthy solution is with raisins. It can become even better if you boil it and eat it like porridge.
They have accused bananas of being fat. But that’s a big misunderstanding. It feels greasy because it’s a considerable amount of starch mixed with water. A whole banana only contains a half gram of fat and 100 calories. So it’s perfect in every diet.
Years ago it was was very much used by athletes of every kind. But now it has been replaced by protein powder. Very unfair. For training and exercise, it’s a very good little meal. Makes you feel full. But gentle to the stomach. Of course very easy to handle too. I think It’s ideal for a quick snack when you’re on the road. They do not need any cooking. Just eat it as it is. Can it make you avoid fast food when you can save some calories?
If you eat it with a hard-boiled egg or a piece of chicken, you can slow the digestion, so you feel full for a more extended period.
Oranges are wonderful too. Very good during the winter. Contains vast amounts of vitamin C. You need a daily intake of that essential vitamin. Orange is a perfect source. Along with other fruits and vegetables, it can provide you with all you need.
Pasta is allowed too. Just choose full grain types of pasta. It gives you more of the good stuff from grain. Including fibers to slow down digestion for stable blood sugar. It does not have a high impact as white flavor. Especially if mixed with vegetables.
In my part of the world, we can even buy pasta mixed with 40 % vegetables. Just go for it if it’s possible for you too.
That’s just some examples of healthy carbohydrates. I could have included brown rice and many others too. Now it would be a good idea to get rid of every fast and unhealthy carb and replace them with healthy and full-grain alternatives. You can say it’s a matter of changing habits. I do very much like white bread, pasta, and white rice. But full-grain is even better.
Bottom line is carbohydrate is an essential part of your diet.