Carbohydrates what is it, types, functions, norms

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Carbohydrates are found in many foods. It is a natural source of energy for the body. If there is a lack of carbohydrates in the body, then the metabolism is gradually disrupted. Problems begin with the work of the kidneys, instead of burning fats, the process of burning protein begins, which ultimately can lead to poisoning of brain cells. If a person abuses the use of carbohydrates, then the opposite situation occurs – the accumulation of fat begins.

What role do carbohydrates play in the body?

Carbohydrates are organic compounds that are found in all cells of the human body. It is actually sugar, since these compounds are made up of sugar units.

Despite the modern trend, according to which a person is recommended to give up carbohydrates, they play a huge role, along with fats and proteins, in the normal functioning of the body. The benefits depend entirely on their quantity.

Why does a person need carbohydrates:

  • for the normal functioning of the heart;
  • to stimulate the work of the brain;
  • to stabilize the digestive process;
  • to strengthen the immune system;
  • for the formation of cartilage and bone tissue;
  • to prevent blood clots;
  • so that positive bacteria appear in the stomach;
  • so that the body can safely remove toxins and toxins.

For these reasons, carbohydrates must be present in the diet. They help improve mood and relieve depression. Simply put, if you completely abandon the use of carbohydrates, then all systems of the body and organs will gradually fail, since the metabolic process in the body will be disrupted.

The rate of absorption of carbohydrates directly depends on the glycemic index of food. The lower the GI, the slower carbohydrates are absorbed.

Types of carbohydrates

There are three main types of carbohydrates:

  • fast;
  • slow;
  • indigestible.

The last type – indigestible, are actually plant fiber or, more precisely, coarse dietary fiber. The human body is unable to process it. This category includes: cellulose, pectins, lignin, hemicellulose and resins.

Simple carbohydrates

This type of carbohydrate includes fructose and glucose, and they are also called fast. Simple carbohydrates are easily digested and absorbed. An interesting fact is that fast carbohydrates did not exist in ancient times. If our ancestors wanted to get as much sugar as in a glass of Coca-Cola, then they would have to eat a whole meter of sugar cane.

What foods contain simple carbohydrates

The list of foods that contain fast carbohydrates is quite large. First of all, it is sugar, jam, honey. In addition, simple carbohydrates are found in the following foods:

  • chocolate;
  • bread;
  • pasta;
  • sweet fruits;
  • coconut and cane sugar;
  • ice cream;
  • bakery products;
  • alcoholic beverages, especially beer;
  • sweet carbonated drinks.

In fact, this list can be continued indefinitely. The modern industrial food industry is not complete without sugar, which is actually a fast carbohydrate.

Complex carbohydrates

This type includes, first of all, starch. This substance is found in all plants. Also, complex carbohydrates include dietary fiber and glycogen, which is a source of energy.

At its core, starch is a compound of simple carbohydrates, the breakdown of which the body requires not only time, but also a lot of energy. It is for this reason that complex carbohydrates are also called slow.

The main function of slow carbohydrates is to ensure the normal functioning of the digestive tract. They are also responsible for the body’s energy storage and physical activity. With the help of complex carbohydrates, you can normalize blood sugar levels.

The main benefit of eating slow carbs is slow satiety. For example, the feeling of satiety after consuming them disappears after 3 hours. And if you eat muffins, or fast carbohydrates, then the feeling of hunger will come literally in a few minutes.

What foods contain complex carbohydrates

You can find these carbohydrates in legumes, especially beans. They are contained in:

  • brown rice;
  • whole grains, and those made from durum wheat;
  • in green vegetables;
  • chicken eggs;
  • dairy products;
  • cereals, especially in buckwheat.

By the way, natural dark chocolate contains complex carbohydrates, because it is made from cocoa beans.

Why is an excess of carbohydrates dangerous?

The first “bonus” that a person will receive if he gets carried away with carbohydrates is excess weight. The second risk is an increase in insulin, and this is an overload of the pancreas. As a result, cells are depleted and the risk of developing diabetes increases significantly.

If we talk about complex carbohydrates, then with a large amount of them in the body, the processes of food digestion stagnate and fermentation begins. Hence the discomfort and bloating. There is a risk that the body will be poisoned due to the “clogged” intestines with toxins. Doctors call this fermentation dyspepsia.

How the body stores carbohydrates

The digestive process is individual for each person. However, fats and proteins are absorbed by 90% -97%. The digestibility of carbohydrates in most cases depends on the amount of fiber in them.

After the nutrients have entered the body, they become energy or are stored. There is also a third option, but it applies to people who have diabetes. In this case, “harmful” carbohydrates can remain in the bloodstream and only provoke the development of side diseases, for example, cardiovascular, in the form of thrombosis.

The process of converting carbohydrates into energy is the most optimal way for the body to use them. But if they go into the reserve, then carbohydrates appear in the liver in the form of glycogen or become the basis for the formation of fat.

Most of all fat deposits from carbohydrates are under the skin. Some of the carbohydrates form a layer of fat around the internal organs, this is the so-called visceral fat. A small part gets into the muscles, but such fats do not affect the general appearance of a person.

Carbohydrate metabolism

Metabolism or metabolism is a chemical reaction that proceeds in several stages, from the entry of substances, in this case carbohydrates, into the body to complete elimination into the external environment. This is virtually any reaction that takes place in tissues or cells, as a result of which energy is extracted. Metabolism is conventionally divided into structural processes:

  • anabolism, or a process aimed at spending energy, as a result of which more complex molecules appear;
  • catabolism or the formation of organic substances in the process of destruction of substances, as a result of which urea, ammonia, carbon and other toxic substances appear.

Metabolic carbohydrate processes in living organisms are regulated by the hormonal and nervous systems. Initially, carbohydrates are broken down during digestion, then they go to the state of monosaccharides, mainly to glucose. They, in turn, from the intestines enter the blood and liver, and other tissues. This is called a staging process. Partially glucose, in the form of glycogen, remains in the liver and skeletal tissues. This describes a normal metabolic process. If an increased amount of carbohydrates enters the body, then the carbohydrates are transferred to adipose tissue.

Daily Carbohydrate Requirements

In fact, the ideal consumption rate for all people is very difficult to deduce. Each organism is individual. Most nutritionists are inclined to believe that it is permissible for women to consume no more than 300 g of carbohydrates per day, and for men – 500 g. But we are talking about complex carbohydrates, fast ones are better to be reduced to a minimum.

Norms of carbohydrates for mass gain

To engage in moderate sports, a person needs at least 5 g per 1 kg. weight. But it will take more to build muscle. For this, at the rate of 7-8 g per 1 kg. weights are multiplied by the person’s weight. For the average man weighing 70 kg. it will take at least 500 g per day.

Rates of carbohydrates for weight loss

Today there are two extremely popular diets: carbohydrate-free and gluten-free. They imply an almost complete exclusion of carbohydrates from the diet. But the benefits of such nutrition are questionable. Naturally, if we are not talking about people with gluten intolerance.

Alas, a complete rejection of carbohydrates can lead to poor health and provoke an exacerbation of chronic diseases.

To lose weight, you should not completely give up carbohydrates, but only reduce their intake. And also remove fast carbohydrates from the diet. And the complex ones should be brought to the level of 40% in the daily diet. That is, with a daily calorie content of 1500 units, you can consume carbohydrates with a total calorie content of no more than 600 units.

It should be remembered that fast carbohydrates are not only about muffins and sweets. This is the most common mistake, since the accounting for the amount of “harmful” carbohydrates is based solely on these indicators. People completely forget that they are found in other foods.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy. Products with their content should never be discarded. Indeed, it is better to cut down on foods that contain fast carbohydrates, which, in fact, lead to weight gain and an increase in glucose levels. Complex carbohydrates are much more beneficial for a beautiful figure and human health. Eat all foods, but always remember about the calorie content of the daily diet and the serving size.

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