What are Carbs? Carbohydrates are the starches, fibers as well as sugars which are found in various fruits, vegetables, grains as well as milk products. It has been considered as one of the most important nutrients in the body which is also required for proper growth and development. It is also a macronutrient which is required for the body to obtain calories or energy to carry out important body functions. This is also the reason carbohydrates, which is consists of carbon, hydrogen as well as oxygen, are considered as the body’s main source of energy.
Here we have tried to provide you all the important information about the importance of carbohydrates in the human body along with its various benefits. Read on to get full details about the problems you may face due to carbohydrate deficiency.
What are Carbs?
As mentioned earlier, carbohydrates are one of the macronutrients in the body which is required for carrying out the important body functions properly. It is important to provide micronutrients to the body in required amounts through the diet as the body cannot produce the macronutrients by itself. Carbohydrates, on a chemical level, contains hydrogen carbon as well as oxygen.
According to the experts, the recommended daily intake of carbohydrates for adults is 135 grams. It is considered that the carbohydrate intake in the body should be between 45 to 65 percent of total calorie consumption. However, experts also suggest that the total consumption of carbohydrates for diabetics should not go beyond 200 grams per day. In pregnancy, it is recommended to consume around 175 grams of carbohydrates every day.
What are the types of carbohydrates
There are various types of carbohydrates. However, experts have recommended that you should always consume unrefined complex starchy and fibrous carbohydrates and should limit the consumption of simple carbohydrates such as sweets and sugars. The consumption of refined carbs is also considered harmful to your health.
The major three types of carbohydrates are listed below.
● Simple starchy carbohydrates
The carbohydrates which are made up of 1-2 sugar molecules and have simple molecular structure are known as simple starchy carbohydrates. Glucose is the simplest form of simple carbohydrates and also contains sucrose, fructose as well as lactose. Few simple carbohydrates are considered healthy such as natural simple carbs which are found in milk as well as fruits. If you are focused on effective weight loss, it is recommended to take carbohydrates from the vegetables and limit the consumption of fruits as well as fruit juices, although they are considered healthy. Additionally, you should also keep yourself away from sucrose or table sugar to get effective weight loss.
● Complex starchy carbohydrates
Even though complex carbohydrates are made up of sugar, the sugar molecules in carbohydrates are linked with each other in more complex form. Some of the foods which contain complex carbohydrates are peas, whole grains as well as beans, which are also filled with mineral, fiber as well as vitamins. However, these complex carbohydrates are refined most of the time and may cause problems.
While refining or cutting the high fiber part from the food products with the help of a machine, the food product also loses its complex structure. Some of the examples of refined carbohydrates are white rice, white flour, sugary cereals, pasta, white bread etc. It is recommended to stay away from the refined carbohydrates along with sugar.
However, the consumption of unrefined complex fiber keeps you full for a long time due to its fiber content. This proves beneficial for effective weight loss treatment. Some of the food products of unrefined complex carbs which you should eat are whole wheat bread and pastas, whole grain rice and porridge oats.
● Complex fibrous carbohydrates
The carbohydrates which are filled with minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals as well as various other healthy nutrients which are helpful for the body are known as fibrous carbs. They are most common in vegetables. As fiber is considered as an indigestible healthy nutrient, it passes straight through the gut and is highly helpful for colon cleansing. It is also helpful in keeping the digestive process healthy. As fiber keeps you full for a long time, it is difficult to consume more on vegetables, even though they are less in calories.
What are the benefits of carbohydrates?
Some of the major benefits of the consumption of carbohydrates are listed below.
● Improves mental health
Carbohydrates are important for the growth and development of mental health. In a study, it has been found that people who are on high fat and low carb diet experience the problems of depression, anxiety as well as anger. According to the researchers, carbohydrates may play a vital role in the production of serotonin in the brain.
It is also highly important to consume a low-calorie diet which is rich in carbohydrates to counter the problems with cognitive skills, spatial memory as well as visual attention.
● Weight loss
Even though it has been considered that the consumption of carbs results in weight gain, eating right kind of carbs in required amounts is actually helpful in maintaining the healthy weight. Consumption of good carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables and its skin which contains fiber. While following low carb diet, it is not easy to get fiber in enough quantities. As mentioned earlier, fiber is helpful in keeping you full for longer time.
In a study, where the participants were tested on fiber intake and weight management, it has been found that the people who consume more fiber have effective weight loss than the people who cut the fiber consumption in their diet. These people also suffered with weight gain, which is even worse.
● Rich source of nutrients
Some of the best raw green leafy vegetables, which are also considered as super foods, contains health-friendly nutrients. Some of the examples of it are leafy greens, juicy berries, apples as well as sweet potatoes.
A study also says that you should increase the intake of whole grains as it contains rich amount of fiber, polyunsaturated fats as well as energy. It also contains healthy micronutrients. Another study suggests that whole grains also contains important antioxidants which believed to be exclusive only to the fruits as well as vegetables.
● Maintains heart health
Consumption of whole grains provides carbohydrates as well as fiber, which is also helpful in reducing the cholesterol level in the body. Improved digestion results into the pulling of cholesterol from the blood as it is required for the production of bile to digest the food. This results into the reduction of LDL or bad cholesterol in the body.
In a research, whole grains were also given to the patients suffering with high cholesterol and are on statin medicine. The results showed that the people who consumed whole grains experienced lower bad-cholesterol levels in their body.
Why are carbohydrates important in your body?
Eating carbohydrates in required amounts is highly healthy for your body. The deficiency of carbohydrates may cause various problems. Carbs are considered as fuel for the body to perform important functions. In carbohydrate deficiency, the central nervous system may cause various problems due to low sugar and can result into dizziness, physical and mental weakness. It may also cause the problem of hypoglycemia, which erupts whenever there is low sugar amount in the blood.
This situation can also trigger the use of protein as fuel. This may cause a lot of problems as protein is required in the body to make muscles. This also puts more pressure on the kidneys and this results into the passing of byproducts from urine which causes pain.
Insufficient intake of carbs also leads to the reduced intake of fiber. Fiber deficiency may cause the problem of the digestive system such as constipation.
Final thoughts on taking carbohydrates for healthy living
It is highly important to consume healthy carbohydrates which are essential for the body. There are various low carb meals with low carb diet recipes, which you can try if you feel the carbohydrate intake is going beyond the limits, as too much carbs are not at all required by the body and may cause various problems.
Carbohydrates deficiency is considered as the severe medical condition and needs to be treated well. Expert medical help always important to counter the problems due to low carb amount in the body.
By Prajakt K.