Nutrition

Macro-nutrients: Carbohydrates

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COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES

SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES

What are they?

Big molecules (that include fibre) that are degraded by the amylase in the saliva and the pancreas. Because of the length of their molecules, it takes a longer time to be absorbed inside the body / blood and therefore doesn’t induce blood sugar peaks. Simple and double sugars that are degraded by the amylase in the saliva and the pancreas. Because of their simple configuration, they can be absorbed extremely quickly in our bodies / blood.

Examples:

Grains, peas, brown rice, quinoa, barley, bulgur, oatmeal, other whole grains, potatoes and sweet potatoes, corn, and legumes (kidney beans, chick peas). Single sugars: glucose, fructose (found in fruit) and galactose (found in dairy products).Double sugars: lactose (found in milk and other dairy products), maltose (found in some vegetables and grains, sucrose (table sugar)

How do your body process these?

As soon as the carbohydrates are degraded into single sugars and absorbed into the body this induces an immediate secretion of insulin.This will facilitate the entrance of glucose at a cellular level. All cells need glucose in order to produce energy, otherwise known as ATP. The three main organs (organs are made up of cell tissue) which are demanding on glucose levels are the brain, the muscles and the liver.

If someone who consumes carbohydrates is not doing exercise or intellectual challenges, then the body will start to create fat cells in order to store the excess sugar.

As soon as the carbohydrates are degraded into single sugars and absorbed into the body, it induces an immediate secretion of the insulin.This will facilitate the entrance of glucose at a cellular level. All cells need glucose in order to produce energy, otherwise known as ATP. The three main organs (organs are made up of cell tissue) which are demanding on glucose levels are the brain, the muscles and the liver.

If someone who consumes carbohydrates is not doing exercise or intellectual challenges, then the body will start to create fat cells in order to store the excess sugar.

 

Conclusion

From the understanding of how your body processes carbs and how insulin works, we are now able to understand why complex carbohydrates are healthier.Because of the composition of complex carbs, they provide more nutrients to the body as well as energy. They are digested more slowly, therefore increasing the feeling of satiety. Since they are ‘burnt’ more slowly by the body, they do not induce insulin peaks. The lower the insulin production, the more fat burning is happening. From the understanding of how your body processes carbs and how insulin works, we are now able to understand why simple and double carbohydrates are less healthy.Because of the composition of simple and double carbs, they only produce energy. Therefore, induce glycemic peaks which results in insulin peaks. The higher the glycemic peak, the more insulin is produced. The higher the insulin production is, the less fat burning is happening.

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