What are they?
Carbohydrates, also known as carbs or saccharides, is a group of foods that are converted into glucose during digestion. Glucose is a type of sugar that can be used immediately or stored away and be used later for energy. Once carbohydrates turns into glucose, it can raise your blood sugar level. It is therefore important to control blood glucose for weight management and diabetes. There are three main types of carbohydrates: starches, sugar and fiber.
Carbohydrates are divided into 2 groups
Simple carbohydrates: This includes sugars found in foods such as fruits, fruit juice, honey, table sugar and dairy products.
Complex carbohydrates: These are known as starches which includes grain products such as pasta, rice, breads,crackers and potatoes. It also includes vegetables such as peas, sweet potatoes, butternut. Complex carbohydrates can further be broken down into refined and whole grain carbohydrates.
Why do we need carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy that your body needs and can contribute to both nutritional and mental health benefits. They help fuel your brain, kidney and heart muscles. Below are some benefits carbohydrates has on the body.
Important source of energy for our body.
Glucose: known as the break down of carbohydrates which the brain utilizes for energy
Fiber: plays a role in digestion, making you feel full and promotes regular bowel movements.
Carbohydrates are essential for production of serotonin (a hormone that stabilizes our mood)
Regulates blood sugar, without carbohydrates in your diet, it may cause your blood sugar to drop too low
Lastly, a carbohydrate-deficient diet may cause symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, constipation and a drop in blood sugar level
– Lauren Kloppers | Physio