Donnerstag, 3. April 2014

Carbs, good or bad?

Hey Fitfam!

It's almost Friday, the week is almost done yaayy !
Let's talk a bit about carbohydrates, also known as carbs.

But before we start you should know that our body needs the three main macronutrients which are essential in a proper and healthy diet. Your body needs proteins and fats to create body tissue and insulation, while carbs provide your body with the calories which are essential to produce energy for simple functions, such as the heartbeat, digestion, breathing and your body movement.
According to carbs' chemical structure, you can divide them into simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

So, Simple carbs, as the name says are simple in their chemical structure. This means that they only contain 1-2 sugars which only have little nutritional value for your body. So it's best for your body to limit the consumption of simple carbs. They get digested pretty fast so your body needs new energy more quickly.

You can even under divide the simple carbs as there are monosaccharides and disaccharides.( Wow some heavy words here )
While the first one only consists of one single sugar, such as fructose , galactose and glucose, the second one has 2 chemically-linked monosaccharides which come from lactose, maltose and sucrose.

Here is a small list of the main 'simple' carbs:

  • Table sugar
  • white flour
  • honey
  • milk
  • yoghurt
  • candy
  • chocolate
  • fruit 
  • fruit juice
  • cake
  • jam
  • biscuits
  • molasses
  • soda
  • packed cereals
  • and so on. 
Even if some of these don't provide the essential nutrients to your body, they are still good for you as they contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. If you want to know which fruit contains which vitamins or minerals check my post about Smoothies HERE.

Now, let's get over to the complex carbohydrates:

What a surprise, they are called 'complex' because... tadaa their chemical structure is complex. (badum tss)
Complex carbs' structure is made of 3 or more sugars which are linked one to another. These different sugars are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and as their structure is more complex they also take longer to be digested by the body, ergo they don't raise your sugar blood level as quickly as simple carbs. If you want to fuel your body in a good way, eat complex carbs, as they contribute significant energy to your body.

Just as the simple carbohydrates, complex carbs have an under-division too; oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. The first one consist in a small number of monosaccharides ( the one from simple carbs) while the second one is made up of a larger number of monosaccharides and disaccharides, such as cellulose, dextrin, glycogen and starch. 

Here another small list of where you'll find complex carbohydrates:

  • whole-meal bread
  • spinach
  • yams
  • broccoli
  • beans
  • zucchini
  • lentils
  • skimmed milk
  • whole grains
  • and many more

I suggest to switch over to complex carbs, if you haven't already, as they provide a higher amount of essential nutrients to your body. 
I hope you understand the difference between simple and complex carbs as some complex carbs consist of elements that simple carbs contain too. But this shouldn't be a problem as they have two very different nutritional values. 

Bottom line, your body needs carbs just like your car needs fuel. If you don't eat carbs ( especially complex ones) your body will run out of fuel one day, and believe be that's not cool at all if you have to stop in the middle of your way just because you haven't refueled enough. 

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