Over the years, carbohydrates gotten a bad rap when it comes to weight loss and healthy diet choices. As one of the principle food components (along with fats and proteins), carbohydrates are important to keep your body going. The two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex, are excellent sources of energy that plays an important role in the immune system, blood clotting and normal body development
Monosacharides and polysacharide
At the most basic level, simple carbohydrates exist as monosacharides as glucose, lactose, galactose and fructose found in simple sugars, milk and fruit juice. They are easy to digest, easy to reach as quickly fuel for the body and is the preferred fuel for the brain.
Monosacharides may also be bound to other monosacharides, to form polysacharide and classified as complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are found in a variety of foods, including baked goods and pasta. Because of their more complicated chemical structure, complex carbohydrates takes longer to digest in the small intestine and improve sources of fuel for sustained activities.
Carbohydrates are a good source of energy — necessary if you are going to embark on an exercise program in addition to making changes in your diet. The American Dietetic Association says that carbohydrates are also a great source of fiber. Fiber is important to stay firm and to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Carbohydrates are a focal point of many discussions about weight loss. Some diets, like the Atkins diet, reduce or eliminate carbohydrates because they are believed to be calorie dense. Although there may be some truth to this, most registered dietitians tell you that a balanced diet designed for sustained weight loss should always contain some carbohydrates.
For those embarking on a weight loss program, dietitians recommend that the total daily carbohydrate intake to 50 percent or less of your total daily caloric intake. Where possible, emphasizes complex carbohydrates over simple. Complex carbohydrates contain many vitamins and nutrients not usually found in simple sugars.
Carbohydrates and the glycemic index
Recently, simple and complex carbohydrates has been further investigated by means of an additional concept :. glycemic Index
The glycemic index (GI) indicates how quickly carbohydrates we consume raise our blood sugar levels. The higher the rating, the faster the food will lead to high blood sugar. For example, a baguette a GI rating of 95. Corn has a GI of 48. Sausages, which is mostly fat and protein has GI of 28. High GI carbohydrates cause large spikes in blood sugar levels. Low GI carbohydrates keeps blood sugar even.
There is no direct relationship between simple and complex carbohydrates and the glycemic index. Those interested in managing your blood sugar by eating low GI foods need to learn GI ranking of their favorite foods.
Diabetics and anyone embarking on a weight loss program should notice that the GI of carbohydrates they eat.
how simple and complex carbohydrates fit into your day
Whatever carbohydrates you consume — simple or complex — they are an important source of fiber and nutrients, and plays a role in a healthy diet.
Learning which foods contain simple or complex carbohydrates, can help with diet planning. Try to avoid eating all simple or complex carbohydrates all at one sitting. Instead choose foods that balance each other. Eating a serving of potatoes or brown rice, followed by fruit for dessert is a good way to enjoy both types.