Carbohydrates are natural organic substances including sugars, starch and cellulose. Carbs provide energy to the body. "Sugar" is not bad for health, and starches do not have always bad effects on blood glucose and lipids. So, it is not right to say that carbohydrates only have bad effects on our body. The digestion of a particular carbohydrate depends upon the complexity of the carb's molecular structure - the more complex this structure is, the harder the digestive system works to break it down in order to absorb it into the bloodstream. The new theory about carbohydrate digestion and absorption has completely changed the way people used to think about dietary carbohydrates. It has been found that starches are not digested ompletely, and such indigestible carbohydrates are neutral bulking agents.
Carbs can be divided into four types; the first is monosaccharide, like glucose which is found in corn sugar, fructose that is found in fruit second type of carb is disaccharides, like sucrose which is found in table sugar, lactose that is found in milk sugar and maltose; these are digested quite quickly. The third type of carbs is polysaccharides, like starch, which takes long time to digest; and the fourth & the most complex carbs is cellulose which is indigestible plant fiber. The speed of digestion is determined by the chemical nature & resistance level of the carbohydrate. For example, a simple sugar is much less resistant than a starch, and is metabolized or digested much faster.
There are two types of carbohydrates: natural and manmade. Natural carbs are slow digesting carbs, but still it is recommended to consume these carbs as they are a gift bestowed on us by nature. Being natural, they definitely serve as a better choice for deriving energy. Natural carbs are a reservoir of fiber and nutrients. Some of the good sources of natural carbs are wild rice, beans, fruits and red potatoes.
Man made carbs get digested quickly compared to natural carbs, as they hit the bloodstream faster than the natural carbs. The reason that can be attributed to this fact is that the more the number of processing steps a carb food has to go through, the more easily it gets digested in the body. Man made carbs tend to trigger insulin release and the result is that excess carbs get converted and then eventually get accumulated on the body in the form of fats. Examples of man made fast digesting carbs are white bread, white rice, mashed potatoes, cold cereals, fruit juices etc.
Carbohydrate Content in Alcohol
As far as the question of carbohydrates in alcohol is concerned, there is a myth that non-alcoholic drinks contain less carbs, when compared to the regular alcoholic beverages. But the reality is the other way round and non-alcoholic beverages in fact contain higher carbs content. According to some of the low-carb diets-alcoholic beverages are not
Carbohydrate Content in Fruits
Fruits are a rich source of carbohydrates and are a must in one’s everyday diet. Fruits can be had raw fruit, while some can even be cooked. Fruit juice is another variation that people often indulge in in but raw fruits are recommended for a basic carbohydrate diet, rather than fruit juices. It has been found through studies that 50-60% of daily calorie intake should come from carbohydrates.
Carbohydrate Content in Vegetables
Carbohydrates are pivotal nutrients required for a balanced diet. Their prime role is to produce energy required for the smooth functioning of the body. Widely categorized into simple and complex, carbohydrates are found in every major food group, including grains, fruits and vegetables. As far as vegetables are concerned, some of them are a rich source of carbohydrates, while others contain only traces of the nutrient.
Foods High In Complex Carbohydrates
Carbohydrate forms an integral part of a balanced diet, because it is the prime source of energy required by the human body. An ideal source of the energy for the body, they can readily be converted into glucose which can further be used by the body. However, a diet which is high in carbohydrates can disturb the balance of the blood sugar levels of the body which may result in fluctuations in energy which might leave a person tired and irritated.
Functions of Carbohydrate
Carbohydrates play a major role in promoting your health and ensure overall fitness. They form a major part of your food and help a great deal in building strength in the body by way of generating energy. In fact, they are among the three prominent macronutrients that serve as excellent energy providers, the other two being ‘fats’ and ‘proteins’. Carbohydrate intake can take place in different forms such as, in the form of sugar, starch, fiber, etc.
Low Carb Healthy Snacks
If you are following a low-carb diet, it becomes even more important to have nutritious foods in stock, because most of the snacks are either high in fat content or full of carbohydrates. As the name suggests, low-carb snacks are the ones that contain negligible amount of carbohydrates. They are generally rich in fiber and contain very less fat. If you are really concerned about your food habits, your need to restrict your diet to certain food items.
Sources of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrate maintains the functional activity of the cells, apart from supplying the energy needed for the functioning of the human body. It is one of the major constituents of a healthy and balanced diet. Carbohydrate is either dominant nutrient in the food stuffs, or found in minimal quantity. It is vital to know the amount of carbohydrate present in the food, especially when you are following a particular diet plan.
Types of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients that your body requires for energy and for general wellbeing. Carbohydrates can be broadly classified into two broad categories, namely simple and complex carbohydrates. They are responsible for 45-65 % of energy production in our body, the lack of which may lead to muscle cramps, fatigue, poor mental functions and low immunity. Carbohydrates can be converted into glucose easily, a type of sugar which provides energy for the body instantly.