The word “carb” is short for carbohydrates, which defines as a component of food that is used mainly for energy in the body. The body breaks down carbohydrates in order to make glucose, which is a sugar that the body uses to give a person energy. Carbohydrates usually give a person fiber, vitamins and minerals. Typically, when people think of carbs, they associate the word with breads and pastas. However, did you know that there are two types of carbs?
The two groups are simple and complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can also be separated into “good carbs” and “bad carbs” categories.
Good carbs are usually fiber rich, like those found in many complex carbohydrates. These carbs digest slower, making you feel more full as well as keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels stable. The nutritional value of good carbohydrates offers your body more energy to burn, thus, your body will have the ability to keep moving. Some good carb foods include whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables.
Bad carbs are usually associated with simple carbohydrates. These carbohydrates digest quickly, therefore making you feel hungry soon after you eat them. They will also cause sparks in high blood sugar levels and give you little, unhealthy bursts of energy that will make you seem energetic at first, then have you burn out and feel tired the next minute. These bad carbs should be avoided because they contain little to no nutritional value. It also adds unnecessary calories to your diet. These unnecessary calories are known as “empty” calories. Empty calories contribute to excessive weight gain and other associated health risks. Some foods included in the bad carbs group are white flour, refined sugars and white rice that has been stripped of al bran, fiber and nutrients.
If you really want to make sure you are maintaining a healthy carb balance, then you may want to check your glycemic response. The glycemic response is the glucose or sugar in the blood. High glycemic food cause a larger rise in blood glucose, which can also last for a longer time. Low glycemic foods tend to cause small blood sugar rises that don’t last as long. Usually, your blood sugar levels will increase a bit after eating, but if you eat low glycemic foods, then the rise will surely decrease in a little while. Foods that contain lower glycemic levels include pumpernickel bread, whole wheat pasta, bran cereal, soybeans/lentils/baked beans, milk, yogurt, and even chocolate!
So how many carbohydrates do you need in your diet?
Carbohydrates should be about 45% to 65% of the calories in your diet. If you’re on a 2000- calories diet, it is about 225 g to 325 g of carbohydrates
Over all, just be careful as to what types of carbohydrates you put into your body, and how much of the good or bad you’re eating. Gain your energy the right way, and make sure the sugars you’re eating are to your benefit.