As you can imagine college, cheer, and work have been keeping me pretty busy. The busy life is not the life for me, that’s for sure. On top of that I have had a nasty cold for the past week and I have no energy what so ever! Life goes on though, right?
I want to talk about carbohydrates, something very important that our body needs, but people find carbs to be the source of their weight problems. Remember a few blogs ago when I mentioned that carbohydrates are one of the six essential nutrients? Well I want to elaborate on this macronutrient. There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. The difference between these is how we digest them. We digest carbohydrates by breaking them down to glucose.
Simple sugars are known as monosaccharides (yes that’s how its spelt). These monosaccharides are Glucose (blood sugar) found in fruit and sweeteners, Fructose (fruit sugar) found in fruit and honey, and Galactose (milk sugar) found in milk. Now when two monosaccharides undergo a dehydration process and form a covalent bond they become disaccharides (sorry if I have lost some of you with this annoying biology). Disaccharides include Sucrose (table sugar) which is a bond between glucose and fructose, Lactose (milk sugar) which is a bond between glucose and galactose, and maltose (malt sugar) which is a bond between glucose and glucose.
Complex sugars are our polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are our starches (dextrin) and dietary fiber. Starches are what is found in potatoes, legumes, corn, wheat, and rye. Dietary Fibers (soluble and insoluble) can be found in whole grains, legumes,fruits, and vegetables. We, as humans, cannot digest dietary fibers. Being completely honest I am not exactly sure why we cannot digest dietary fiber, I know it has to do with it being either water soluble or insoluble.
How does the body use carbs?
As from all food, our body uses carbohydrates for energy. Carbohydrates are the primary fuel for your brain and red blood cells. We also need carbs for protein sparing and to burn fat efficiently.
If you consume too many carbs some will be stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles and some will be converted to fat and stored. When we do not eat enough carbs gluconeogenesis will occur, which is when our body uses the protein we have consumed to make glucose. If we prolong this process of fasting carbs then our body will be in ketosis, which is the result of not having an efficient amount of carbs for so long our body becomes “used” to not having carbs and is fighting to use all the protein it can to create its own carbohydrates.
When you hear about people on a “no carb diet” just know that this is not healthy for your body. Yes, they may notice a few pounds less on the scale, but this is due to not providing you body with the essentials that it needs. There is always a healthy way to lose weight and restricting your body from what it needs is not a way to do that. Sorry if i confused or bored anyone with my small biology lesson of the day.
Thanks for reading!