Understanding the carbohydrates definition helps you select healthier
Healthier carbohydrates can help you lose weight.
as defined by Saint Joseph’s Health Library, are one of the three main
classes of food and a source of energy.
The other 2 main
sources are fats and protein.
However, carbs for some people
on a low carb diet is more like a bad 13 letter word.
Although counting carbs for weight loss is not a bad thing, you don’t
want to eliminate them all together.
In fact according to many medical experts, 60% of your total calories
should come from carbohydrates. You just need to choose the
right type of carbs for weight loss and to eat healthy.
Carbs are critical for our body and to ensure we have the right
nutrients. They fuel our brain and muscles and provide the
main source of energy for our body.
Where do Carbs Come From?
are composed of glucose molecules and come in two types;
simple and complex carbs.
Simple carbohydrates are a quick source of energy and are quickly
broken down in the body. Simple carbs are smaller molecules
of sugar like glucose, fructose, maltose, sucrose and
All of these with the exception of lactose come from
plants. Lactose is found in milk. These
carbs are rapidly absorb by the body and increases the chance of these
sugars being stored as fat.
carbs are generally very high in simple
Foods like cake, pastry, chocolate, regular flavored
soda and table sugar are all examples of foods with refined
If you consume a more carbs that is needed at that
given time for energy the remainder is stored in your liver or
converted to fat for future fuel if needed.
So consuming too
much of these simple carbs can result in excess body
fat. Some simple carbs can raise blood sugar levels very
quickly. For people with diabetes this can be a dangerous
Complex carbohydrates generally take longer for the body
to digest and
are made up of several chains of glucose molecules. Complex
carbs are the better choice and not only supply energy but often
contain fiber and other nutrients you need.
Complex carbs can be found in whole
grain foods like oatmeal,
whole wheat breads and pastas and whole wheat cereals.
foods that are complex carb foods include vegetables, beans, legumes
and potatoes. Complex carbs are starchy foods that
come from plants.
Although white bread, rice and pastas are a
form of complex carbs, it’s always better to select whole wheat versus
these processed foods.
Carbrohydrates Definition-GI Index
and the Glycemic Index (GI) go hand in hand. If you are trying to eat
"smart carbs", then low GI foods are what you want.
Whole grain foods offer a lower glycemic index.
Index, or GI, is a way to measure and evaluate the rate at which
carbohydrates breakdown in a person’s body and the effect these foods
have on blood sugar levels.
Many diabetics watch the GI
rating of foods to ensure they maintain a healthy blood sugar
level. Carbs that are broken down quickly have a high GI and
the blood glucose curve is high.
Carbohydrates that are
slower to digest have a lower GI and the blood glucose curve is low.
GI Index Range is:
or less = Low GI
– 69 = Moderate GI
or higher = High GI
trying to lose weight you should avoid foods that are high on the
glycemic index. Although you do not want to cut out any food
groups in your weight loss plan, you can find a variety of foods that
are low GI foods.
Selecting Low GI Foods
Now that you have a better understanding of the carbohydrates
definition and glycemic index, selecting the right foods is easier.
Here are some great choices to help you reach your weight loss goals.Veggies
Vegetables are all generally considered low glycemic index
However potatoes, corn, beets and carrots are a bit
higher. Although still very healthy for you, if you want to
focus on low GI foods, then limit these particular veggies.
Some fruits can be high in carbs but still offer you
lots of vitamins and other nutrients. However, if searching
for low GI fruits, then avoid watermelon (high GI), mangoes, apricots,
fruit cocktail, raisins and pineapple (medium GI).
fruit drinks, apple juice, grapefruit juice and orange juice are all
low GI drinks. Here is a link where you can search their
database to find the GI value for your favorite carbohydrate
Choose unsweetened dairy products like plain yogurt versus
fruit flavored yogurts. In order to reduce your fat intake as
well, select skim milk or low fat milk.
Select whole grain versions of these foods
instead of foods processed with white flour. Whole
grain foods are lower GI foods and also offer more dietary fiber and
other nutrients you need.
Good Carbs Versus Bad Carbs
are always talking about the good versus the bad when it comes to
carbohydrates. While talking about it is easy, knowing the difference
may not be as easy.
Here is a graph that helps you recognize and understand about the good carbs and bad carbs.
In addition to this article on carbohydrates definition, be sure to
understand the definition of calories
If you are thinking of trying a low carb diet, check out these reviews. These weight loss programs are some of the more famous low carbohydrate diets.
Downloadable Weight Loss Chart
Use this spreadsheet to track your weight loss. You can track the calories from the foods you eat and the calories you burn from workouts. Plus there are charts so you can see the progress you are making.
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