We know that carbohydrates are the main energy nutrient that should be our food; however, there are different foods that contain it. Today, to make a self-assessment we ask: what are the main sources of carbohydrates in your diet?
Among the different sources of carbohydrates are the grains and derivatives, i.e. bread, pasta, rice, flour, biscuits, bread, cakes and pastries, the pulses in all its versions, fruits and vegetables, but also within the first we must distinguish those integrals refined and of course, may also prevail simple carbohydrates or sugars and foods that contain them.
If your diet consists predominantly of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, for surely you carry a supply of good quality and your body is grateful, whereas if your feeding the main sources of carbohydrates are load refined grains and sweets clearly it’s time for improving health.
To achieve a balance in what we eat, the main sources of carbohydrates in our diet should be complex carbohydrates, and a minority should be sugars or foods that contain it, but of course, within the first, is always better to ward off refined and choose fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains in all its versions.
Therefore, we recommend to make you this question and so self – assess your diet. Think and answer: what are the main sources of carbohydrates in your diet?
The importance of carbohydrates in the diet
Carbohydrates for the body are like gasoline to an engine. Our body constantly needs energy to perform any movement and carbohydrates are ideal to provide the energy you need.
Unfortunately, the current of the key tone and protein diets makes many people do not eat enough carbohydrates and their bodies use proteins and fats as the main energy sources to provide. Non-intake enough carbohydrates can cause a malfunction in the body, so I will explain the importance of carbohydrates in the diet.
I have always been against diets without carbohydrates and all those that do not exceed the 30- 35 percent of total calories carbohydrate. I have met with digestive, metabolic and fatigue in people who have been making such diets for long period’s problems.
Depending on the type, sex, age, genetics, lifestyle, etc. we should be between 45 and 65 percent of total calories coming from carbohydrates.
Before explaining the importance, we know that not all carbohydrates are equal. The best are those that contain lots of fiber such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. These types of carbs take longer to break down into glucose so that there is no peak insulin so high and provide a greater amount of nutrients.
Instead, refined carbohydrates or simple are easier to digest for the body due to their less complex structures but provide very high insulin spikes and also industrially processed, thus losing much of its nutritional value and becoming fattening foods easily.
Then I am going to explain what can happen if we do not eat enough carbohydrates:
- Digestive problems may occur: if we do not eat carbohydrates, the diet lacks fiber. This is necessary to prevent constipation, and also slows the digestion of food and, therefore, reduces their glycemic load. Fiber can also help prevent overeating as it helps to feel full quickly.
- The energy level is reduced and decreases athletic performance: the fat cannot be used as the sole fuel, so when carbohydrate reserve is exhausted, we will feel tired and listless.
- You can lose coordination and capacity of coordination: unlike muscles, the brain cannot store its own glucose or burn fat. Therefore, when excessively restrict carbohydrates to the point of exhaustion liver glycogen, the brain will not be well fed and the first signs of weakness and mental fatigue may occur.
- We will be worse mood: carbohydrates help maintain serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that produces a sense of calm and better mood. Others may be more nervous and irritating.
As you have seen, carbohydrates are vital for the body to function properly. The key is to know that we eat and how much. Durum wheat, brown rice, fresh vegetables, legumes, and fruits are good sources of healthy carbohydrates. You should check the nutrition label watching sugars such carbohydrates.
How much is the minimum recommended hydrate ingest daily?
Our body uses as its main energy substrate glucose, derived mainly from carbohydrate metabolism. And although it can be produced from fats and proteins for the body the process is much more complex, so there is a minimum recommended hydrate ingest diary or for the body to function properly and in harmony.
In a normal diet, it is recommended to consume about 50% of calories as hydrates, which translates into 250 grams of this macronutrient in a 2000-calorie diet. Well, below this figure a recommendation of minimum consumption, which states that we ingest is set not less than 100-130 grams per day of carbohydrates.
The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances) 2004 states that to meet the needs of healthy people, should be consumed in adults an average of 130 grams of carbohydrates while the average requirement indicates that the minimum intake of carbohydrates daily in adults healthy should be 100 grams.
With this amount of macronutrients in our daily diet, we guarantee the brain to function properly using glucose as an energy source without reaching a state of ketosis or formation of key tone bodies by the absence or insufficient presence of carbohydrates in the body.
So if you want to reduce the carbohydrates in your diet, do not forget to consider this minimum is recommended to take daily to care for the body to function normally without falling into ketosis or health risks.
Some important points about carbohydrates that cannot be overlooked
Here we have written extensively and spoken many times about carbohydrates. What we must remember is that in any sports diet should be an intake of such nutrients because with them we will obtain the necessary energy to perform at their best. Therefore, we want to highlight some important points about carbohydrates that cannot be overlooked.
First, it is important to differentiate the different types of carbohydrates, since it is essential to know how to choose well the source of carbohydrates. First, we must consider the source as not all are equal and have the same effect on the body. On the one hand, we have the simple carbohydrates that we usually get from refined flour and sweets, i.e. sugars. On the other, hand the complex that we get from whole grains and natural sugars.
Complex carbohydrates will be much more beneficial to the body because it will cost us much more assimilated, so get maintain constant levels of glucose, making their use is complete. In the case of carbohydrates from refined flour and refined sugars, utilization is lower, as glucose levels rise quickly, preventing the body from burning all that energy, which will eventually become fat.
It is, therefore, necessary to know how to choose the main sources of energy. The whole grains and brown rice are highly recommended, as well as vegetables and vegetable, fruit, vegetables and legumes, tubers … These are main sources of energy that will help us to achieve a steady and healthy energy.
On the opposite side are prepared with refined flour as conventional bread, conventional pasta, white rice, sweets or pastries among others … These foods offer us quick energy, but not quality, so that the risk of accumulate more fat in the body is higher.
Required in the diet
There are many diets that eliminate carbohydrates to get away with body fat. Nothing is further from reality, since what really is achieved with this is to eliminate fluid from the body, at the risk of changing the natural PH of the body. It is a dehydration process in the first few weeks notice, but is not effective, because to recover normal feeding recover the lost water. It is, therefore, necessary to maintain the supply of good quality carbohydrates.
Alcohol as an energy source
Finally, we will stop in alcohol. It is true that many believe is a strong power. Nothing is further from reality since alcohol assimilated through the liver, which produces acetate process. Acetate the body uses for energy.
But what to keep in mind is the process that is triggered from here, is that by consuming acetate, our body does not consume energy obtained through food, getting not we lower glucose levels, but all otherwise, in addition to our natural system of burning fat for energy slowly stop working properly. It is, therefore, important to choose perfectly the best foods for healthy and functional energy.
Myths about carbohydrates
The carbohydrates are the main source of energy of our body and cereals, foods containing them as a nutrient priority are the basis of human food.
However, like any widespread nutrient, carbohydrates have been and are the center of many beliefs and myths that then we will work to clarify.
- Carbohydrate – rich foods are fattening: This belief is completely wrong because the calories per gram contributing hydrates (4 cals / g) are less than half of which provide fat (9 cal / g).
Pasta, bread, cereals or concentrated calories that can only be a weight gain if consumed in excess and caloric expenditure is body excess unused carbohydrates accumulate as fat that can be used as an energy source on another occasion to be an easy reserve mobilization.
- Do not consume carbohydrates after 20 pm: This false myth is born to believe that after 20 pm. carbohydrates are not “spend” with movements and then stored as fat.
However, the order does not alter the product, i.e. it is not necessary to consume carbohydrates at noon or breakfast, but a number of calories and nutrients give rise to a daily total that is not influenced by distribution.
Although it is always advisable to concentrate calories and breakfast cereals to reduce anxiety and less appetite to get the next meal, eat foods rich in carbohydrates at night will not represent an increase in weight.
- Do not consume carbohydrates with proteins: This myth is completely false and can only see belie food composition, since most of these contain at the same time, proteins and carbohydrates.
Eat them together does not imply any consequences for the organism, but this belief is born with the aim of achieving a greater sense of satiety because it was thought that carbohydrates in a single meal soothed appetite and proteins in other produced the same result.
However, so far only it is known that proteins satiating have greater power than any other nutrient, however, not the same is known about hydrates.
- It is not good to consume simple carbohydrates before an athletic competition: This belief is also wrong if we consider a normal intake of simple carbohydrates or sugars and the correct time prior a competition.
That is, if I eat a food that contains sugar about 20 minutes before the competition, it will produce an increase in blood glucose just before making the effort, which is good because that glucose increases energy sources.
However, if we eat the same food 1 hour before starting the competition as insulin and blood will be to reduce the glycemic load of food ingested before physical exertion and hypoglycemia may occur.
In addition, if the sugar concentration is high, it can cause gastric and digestive problems with unwanted discomfort when exercising. However, a food with 5% sugar about 20 minutes before the competition is a real help during physical activity.
So far, we have debunked some of the myths that I hear about carbohydrates. It is good to know the truth about one of the nutrients most important to us all.