Carbohydrates = 4 calories/gram
There are many misconceptions out there about the type and amount of carbohydrates a person should eat. This program is here to set the record straight and eliminate all the confusion surrounding this vitally important macronutrient. Carbohydrates are our body’s primary and preferred source of energy. Our brains and red blood cells rely exclusively on carbohydrates for fuel. Not all carbohydrates are created equal. These are the facts about carbohydrates.
All carbs are digested into sugar (glucose) when eaten. This glucose either gets used right away for fuel or gets stored as fat for later use. In order for this process to happen there is a chain of events that must take place
The Process Goes Like This:
- You eat a carb (fruit, bread, rice etc.);
- Carb gets digested into sugar and enters your blood stream;
- Cellular respiration occurs and converts the sugar into a usable form of energy called glucose;
- Blood glucose levels rise;
- INSULIN, a hormone that is secreted from the pancreas in response to elevated blood glucose levels, enters the blood cells;
- Insulin is responsible for transporting the glucose out of the blood and delivering it to your working muscles and brain to be used for energy to fuel your body.
Insulin signals the body to store the excess glucose into fat since it can’t be used as fuel! This is how carbscan contribute to weight gain. When we consume too many carbs at one time or we choose processed, sugary carbs that are devoid of fiber, we elevate our blood glucose levels too high and too fast causing an over secretion of insulin.
When our bodies can’t utilize all of that fuel from the carbs we ate, the fuel inevitably gets stored as fat for later use. We also experience a blood glucose crash leaving us feeling tired, irritable, light headed and craving more carbs. When we give into our carb cravings the cycle repeats itself until you take the necessary steps to balance out your blood glucose (sugar) levels.
Remember that not all carbs are created equal. Some elevate your blood glucose (sugar) levels much faster and higher than others. The key is to choose low glycemic load foods.
Fast and Slow Digesting Carbs
The fast carbs are the simple, high glycemic (sugar), processed or refined carbs like white bread, potatoes, desserts, granola bars and most cereals. These carbs do not contain adequate sources of water or fiber and, therefore, convert quickly into sugar. This process gives your body more energy than it needs at any one time.
Fast and Slow Digesting Carbs
The slow carbs are the complex, low glycemic, high fiber, and high water carbs like vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains. These types of carbohydrates provide your body with a slower release of sugar over a longer period of time. This slow release of sugar into your blood stream enables you to have lasting energy and keeps you feeling full for longer.
The trick to eating carbohydrates and maintaining a healthy weight, without having your mood, energy level, and mental clarity affected, is to choose the slow carbs and pair them with the other 2 macronutrients, protein and fat.