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What Role Does Carbohydrates Play In Our bodies?

Carbohydrates are a nutrient that converts into energy. It fuels our bodies much like gasoline fuels our cars. Our human bodies need carbohydrates for the energy we use to move and grow.

There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are sugars made of one or two units or molecules. Words that end in “ose” are sugars. Sugars are sucrose also known as table sugar, fructose, which is the natural sugar found in fruit and honey, and lactose, which is the sugar found in milk.

Complex carbohydrates are known as starches and are long chains of glucose molecules. Both simple and complex carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise. Fructose causes the smallest amount of rise in blood glucose level of all the simple and complex carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are found in your diet when you eat grains, beans, starchy vegetables, fruits and milk and also sweets.

Complex carbohydrates such as grains, beans, and starchy vegetables are at the base of the food pyramid. The next level of the food pyramid contains other complex carbohydrates such as vegetables. Sweets are at the very top of the food pyramid and should be eaten sparingly.

Even diabetics can eat some sugar and sweets occasionally as part of their total carbohydrate intake. Everyone should try to spread his or her intake of carbohydrates out throughout the day.

The best sources of carbohydrates are whole grains, vegetables, fruits and also beans. Carbohydrates can promote good health by giving plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and important phytonutrients. Carbohydrates are easily digested.

Consuming carbohydrates found in white bread, white rice, pastries, sugary sodas, and other processed foods that are eaten in excess of normal amounts can lead to weight gain, can interfere with weight loss, and can also promote diabetes and also heart disease.

Beans are an excellent source of slowly digested carbohydrates as well as a good source of protein.

Complex carbohydrates are absorbed by the body slower and give you energy over a longer period of time.

Carbohydrates that are in some foods (the simple sugars) causes the glucose level to rise more quickly in our bloodstream than other carbohydrates. You should therefore limit simple sugars in your diet such as table sugar and candy and increase your consumption of complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, oatmeal, and whole-grain wheat bread.

Most foods we eat contain carbohydrates, which our bodies than break down into simple sugars, which as previously states are sources of energy used by the body.


July 6, 2008 - Posted by | Nutrition

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