What are carbohydrates and how to use them in our diet

Most people consider carbohydrate-rich foods to be the number one enemy of their weight. Nutritionists say that it is not the amount of carbohydrates that is important, but the rate of their absorption by the body.

Scientists divide carbohydrate-containing foods into 3 groups:
– High speed of absorption: carrots, honey, white bread.
– Average rate of absorption: sugar, potatoes, bananas, rice, peas, pasta, oranges.
– Low absorption speed: green vegetables, apricots, yogurt.

The products of the last group are the best allies to achieve a slim figure and maintain a low body weight.

Our weight depends on the total number of calories we consume each day, so we can also convert grams of carbohydrates into calories. In addition, it will help us determine what percentage of the total calories of each meal comes from the carbohydrate content.

We can convert grams to calories using the following formula:
Step 1: Identify the total number of calories in the product. Carbohydrates are often broken down by the labels for fiber, sugars, and sugar alcohols. To determine how many grams of carbohydrates are in a product, we must take the total amount.
Step 2: Multiply the total carbohydrate weight by 4, because carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram. For example, a meal that contains 21 g of carbohydrates has 84 calories. If our goal is simply to determine the number of calories that come from carbohydrates, this is the last necessary step in the process.
Step 3: Divide the calorie label by the total calories. The result of this action will be <1. To determine the percentage of calories from a carbohydrate group, it is necessary to know the total calories contained in a serving of the food. This information is usually indicated at the top of the product information label.

It is important to pay attention to the size of meals. The carbohydrate grams listed on the product label are for the specified serving. If we eat more or less than one meal, this will distort the calculations.

We must be careful with foods that contain carbohydrates or indigestible fibers, since they do not intervene in the caloric content of the product. Since the specific type of fiber is not usually mentioned on the label, we must assume that each gram of carbohydrates indicated on the food label will provide us with 4 calories, regardless of their digestibility.

It may sound incredible, but following a diet based on the intake of certain types of carbohydrates can help maintain a low body weight. For example, a particular type of carbohydrate is the polysaccharides contained in starch. However, to take advantage of the polysaccharide, the consumption of mono and disaccharides, such as glucose and white sugar, must be reduced.

According to a number of studies, people whose menu includes carbohydrates are easier to maintain their weight within normal limits for a prolonged period of time, compared to those who exclude them completely.

It is recommended that around 60% of the energy that the body needs during the day be obtained from carbohydrates.

What are the main benefits of carbohydrate consumption:
– Carbohydrates quickly neutralize the feeling of hunger. Once they enter the digestive system, they swell and create a feeling of fullness. At the same time, they reduce the amount of food consumed in general.
– Carbohydrates, particularly polysaccharides, are slowly digested by the digestive system, causing rare bouts of hunger.
– Its role in blood glucose levels is irreplaceable. Its slow processing and absorption into the blood helps keep blood sugar levels at the same level without sudden changes.
– Carbohydrates also help absorb fat faster. After processing, the fat also carries energy to the body and does not store it.
– Especially during a diet, carbohydrates play an important role in proper digestion, which leads to regular cleansing of the intestine and the body. For this, the regular consumption of wholemeal bread, fruits and vegetables, different legumes and nuts is required.

Also, diets that contain too small amounts of carbohydrates can be dangerous to your health.

Doctors and dietitians are particularly concerned about the so-called Atkins diet, which is becoming increasingly popular around the world in some people’s quest to quickly lose extra weight.

According to American experts, in some cases, such diets can lead to ketoacidosis, a serious illness due to dangerously high levels of ketones (poisonous substances in the blood). They are produced in particularly large amounts in the liver if the level of insulin drops due to poor nutrition or diabetes.

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