WHAT ARE CARBOHYDRATES (carbs)?
One of the body’s four sources of fuel (Protein, Fat and alcohol are the other three)
All four sources contain calories:
Carbs-4 calories per gram
Proteins-4 calories per gram
Fat-9 calories per gram
Alcohol-7 calories per gram
Carbs are the body’s main and most efficient source of energy
When the body burns a calorie, energy is released
Carbs are manufactured by plants during photosynthesis
Two kinds of carbohydrates:
- Simple carbs are also called simple sugars, contains one, two or three units of sugar or saccachrides—an example is table sugar, it is broken down quickly by the body to release energy
- Complex Carbs are chains of hundreds or thousands of simple carbs that have bonded together. These carbs are broken down more slowly by the body, providing a slow, steady release of energy
Two groups of Complex Carbs:
Digestible (Starch)— Can be processed by the human digestive system and used for fuel Indigestible (Fiber)—
Cannot be absorbed by the digestive system, but has many healthful benefits All unprocessed fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and nuts have both forms of fiber
How does a Complex Carb break down?
Take a complex carb, like a bowl of old fashioned oatmeal or a slice of 100% whole grain bread… it has a high fiber content, which takes longer for the starches/sugars to be “unbound” so to speak…also prevents it from leaving the stomach quickly… Results in feeling fuller longer.
In small intestine-fiber and starch separate, nutrients are absorbed, starch is broken down into glucose and ready to be transported to the blood, as glucose enters bloodstream…blood sugar levels rise
In response to elevated blood sugar levels…the pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone that allows glucose to be transported to the cells. Some is used as fuel, stored in the muscles and liver as reserve fuel and any extra is stored as fat. As glucose is being distributed, blood sugar levels fall.
How does a Simple Carb break down?
Simple Carb, like a candy bar, it has little or no fiber. It moves through the stomach and rapidly into the small intestine
Because there is little or no fiber… starch (sugar) is quickly absorbed into the blood stream causing a surge in blood sugar levels
To correct this, the Pancreas releases a spike in insulin, which immediately begins moving the glucose to cells located throughout the body
Having diabetes run in my family, I am learning all I can to prevent this disease from happening to me.