Carbohydrates often get criticized in health and fitness circles. But are they really that bad and deserving of the criticism they get? In this article I’ll be answering that question and more by providing you with a full overview of carbohydrates.
An Introduction To Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients (three key nutrients that you need to consume in relatively large quantities to survive). They are constructed from chains of sugars and there are two main types of carbohydrates:
- Simple Carbohydrates = These are carbohydrates which contain one or two sugars and have a sweet taste. Examples of simple carbohydrates include fruit sugars (fructose) and refined sugar (sucrose).
- Complex Carbohydrates: These are carbohydrates which contain three or more sugars and generally have a milder, starchier taste.
The Role Of Carbohydrates In Your Body
Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source. When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose which is then released into the blood. Your cells and vital organs then take glucose from the blood and use it for fuel when required.
In addition to this, quality carbohydrates are an excellent source of fiber which boosts your digestive system, protects against bowel disease and ensures that you extract the maximum nutrition from the foods you eat.
Finally, quality carbohydrates are an exclusive source of many vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals are essential for optimal health and support many important processes within your body.
The Best Food Sources Of Carbohydrates
One of the main reasons carbohydrates get criticized is that the foods people use to source their carbohydrates from are low in quality. These low quality carbohydrates contain very little fiber and very few vitamins and minerals. In addition to this, they’re often loaded with calories. As a result, these low quality carbs cause unwanted weight gain and do little to support good health. However, by choosing high quality carbohydrates you can fill up on fiber, vitamins and minerals and supply your body with the energy it needs without gaining weight.
To ensure that you always choose high quality carbohydrates, stick to natural, plant based sources and avoid processed products. By eating a range of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, you’ll be able to fill up on quality carbohydrates with ease and supply your body with the fuel it needs.
If you want to eat healthy, then you need to be including some carbohydrates as part of your diet. By choosing the right carbs, you’ll give your body the energy it needs to get through the day while also supplying it with plenty of health boosting vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients which allow it to function optimally.