Each food product of organic origin contains such nutrients as proteins, fats and carbohydrates. To find out what carbohydrates are, you need to imagine that they depend on the digestibility of any vitamin and trace element, as well as providing the body with energy.
Carbohydrates – what is it?
Carbohydrates are a category of simple and complex sugars that make up all the tissues of the human and animal body. This substance is the largest organic “building material” on the planet. Chemistry claims that living organisms make these carbon compounds using the photosynthesis process. In the most primitive version of the exchange of carbohydrates carried plants. Once in the body from the outside, they turn into pure energy for the work of all organ systems.
What are the functions of carbohydrates?
The mechanism of action of a substance suggests that its main characteristic should be considered energetic. In addition, scientists call such carbohydrate functions as:
- Structural – they serve as the basis for building plant cells and living things.
- Protective – are a protector from the deforming effects of external and internal environment.
- Reserve – keep the rest of the nutrients in the body.
- Regulatory – activation of digestive processes in the digestive tract.
- Anticoagulant – effect on blood clotting and antitumor efficacy.
Oxidation of 1 g of carbohydrates produces about 20 kJ of pure energy. With an excess, they accumulate in muscle mass and liver as glycogen. During rest after physical work, the level of glycogen is restored from these resources of the body. Each of these functions of the right carbohydrates realize due to the fact that with them in the body enters a list of useful substances:
Almost half of all substances entering the human body during the day are carbohydrates. Their deficiency in the diet instantly affects their health: the functioning of the heart muscle is disturbed, the metabolism slows down, and the nervous system fails. The main beneficial properties of a substance are:
- Providing energy. Every activity, such as walking or brushing your teeth, requires some effort. Carbohydrates contain glucose, which breaks down in the digestive tract into starch and sugar. This compound contains insulin that can be absorbed into the blood in seconds. Knowing which carbohydrates are beneficial, it is possible to regulate its level from outside with diabetes mellitus;
- The fight against diseases caused by metabolic disorders. Food with carbohydrate fibers serves as a kind of “shield” for people forced to live with type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or various stages of obesity. A diet based on them stabilizes blood pressure and normalizes heart rate;
- Weight control. Understanding what carbohydrates are, you can learn to regulate your own weight by changing the list of foods consumed. From carbohydrates can not be completely abandoned when losing weight, if you plan a long-term retention of the achieved result. Whole grain food reduces the proportion of body fat;
- Enhance mood. Studies have confirmed that eating foods rich in carbohydrates increases the production of serotonin, a hormone of well-being and optimism. Dieters who are deficient in these substances experience more depression, anxiety and outbursts of anger.
The main damage that food can cause is overeating, which has a negative effect on the body. When the body makes up for the deficit and there is an overabundance, the conversion of carbohydrates into fats, deposited at the waist, sides and buttocks, begins. Eating proteins and fats is more difficult than carbohydrates due to their delicious taste. Carbohydrates are rich in sweets, chocolate, any pastries, candy, carbonated drinks. These products want to enjoy during stress, a strict diet or night hunger.
Carbohydrates that pose a particular health hazard are called refined. They do not replenish the energy “piggy bank” of a person, but deplete it, while they themselves turn into fat. Refined easily digestible carbohydrates are artificially synthesized, and therefore do not bear any benefit. Industrial fermentation and purification deprived the fibers of the entire set of trace elements. Refined sugars are very concentrated: this explains their popularity among the manufacturers of chocolate bars, lemonades and chips.
Simple and complex carbohydrates
All carbon organic substances can be divided into two groups: simple and complex carbohydrates. They are distinguished by the order of influence on the cells of the body and chemical composition. Simple carbohydrates (most of which are refined) break up into 1-2 monosaccharides – the process of splitting them stops there. Fast and slow carbohydrates (they are called complex) are not similar to each other: the latter consist of 3 or more monosaccharides, which allows them to digest for a long time and quickly penetrate into the cells.
Simple carbohydrates act similarly to caffeine: the energy processed from them is absorbed by the body quickly, but it is not enough for long. They are insidious because they contain fast-absorbing sugar, which dramatically increases glucose levels in blood tests. Frequent use of light carbohydrates causes an imbalance of sugar and increases the risk of obesity and diabetes. Therefore, you should limit the consumption of the following food groups:
- packaged juices;
- starchy fruits (papaya, banana);
- corn and potato starch;
- soft wheat pasta;
- instant cereals;
- bakery products from ordinary flour.
What are complex carbohydrates?
Long carbohydrates or complex ones make it possible to eat less often due to the long-term conservation of energy in the body, so they are the ideal companion to any diet, especially if it is aimed at combating obesity. They have a low glycemic index, which is measured by the rate of absorption of carbohydrate in the cells. On a scale of GI from 0 to 100, useful carbohydrates gain no more than 50 units. The diet, included in the framework of this norm, is assigned to all people suffering from obesity.
Complex carbohydrates can be found in:
- whole grain bread;
- whole wheat pasta;
- vegetables (bell pepper, onion, zucchini, lettuce, spinach, avocado, green beans, all kinds of cabbage) ;;
- fruits, low in sugar (pears, apples, grapefruits, oranges, kiwi, peaches);
Where do carbohydrates contain?
Anyone suffering from hunger and rapid satiety should know what carbohydrates are considered safe. Such products have a number of attributes by which they can be distinguished among the variety of refined substances:
- organic composition without GMOs and flavor enhancers;
- low level of gluten and other highly allergenic components;
- no damaging treatment;
- shelf life that meets real ideas about natural food.
In order to detect healthy carbon compounds, you need to study in advance the list of products with a low glycemic index. Foods rich in carbohydrates are included in a special table created and recommended by nutritionists. Among them separately it is necessary to indicate those that are considered the most necessary for the human body:
- Vegetables and fruits. Watermelons, raspberries, blueberries, pears and plums contain a lot of dietary fiber, water and complex sugar. Canned fruits retain the same properties if glucose was not added to them during processing.
- Whole grains. This is the best choice for those who can not live a day without baking, but is afraid of the consequences of eating refined high-calorie grains. They contain zinc, selenium and magnesium, which is an added advantage.
- Bean cultures. Beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils are champions in protein content. Knowing what carbohydrates are and how important it is to combine them with proteins, athletes lean on beans before competitions.
- Low-fat dairy products.
How many carbohydrates do you need per day?
Daily energy requirements depend on the rhythm of a person’s life. The rate of carbohydrates per day for people with sedentary work and with active physical labor varies. If athletes spend about 3000 Kcal, then office managers should not exceed 1500 Kcal in order to protect against gaining extra pounds. Recommendations nutritionists suggest forming a diet as follows: 45-65% of the meal should consist of complex carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates for athletes
People who regularly endure serious physical exertion need constant surveillance of food consumed, the mode of eating and the number of calories. Some of them know that carbohydrates before exercise are used for the sake of increasing endurance, but agree to experiment with the rejection of them. There is an erroneous point of view regarding the deficiency of this element as a way to force the body to burn more fat, which becomes a critical source of energy in emergency cases.
Proof that this theory is absurd, is the mechanism itself for the processing of substances derived from food. Complex carbohydrates preserve their energy charge for a long time, and fats are similar to simple ones: they are slowly transformed into fuel for muscles and quickly burn, causing a breakdown and the emergence of the need for a new meal. Nutritionists believe that carbohydrates such as glycogen and fiber work well in the complex fats, only if they are eaten in the complex.
Carbohydrates for gaining muscle mass
The development of pharmaceuticals was reflected in the study of the energy value of the products – for example, pyruvate or pyruvic acid was isolated from a mixture of carbohydrates and fats. Its advantage is that it is consumed during sports and does not remain in the body after their completion. Piruvaty as carbohydrates after exercise are taken to:
- reduce calorie daily diet;
- the fight against fatty liver;
- maintaining safe blood sugar levels;
- stimulating life on the principle of weak energy.