Generally speaking, nutrition is the name that receives the process of taking components from food and using them in your own body. The biggest percentage of our diary nutrition comes from carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and electrolytes.
- Carbohydrates are the main source of “pure energy” for the body in the form of glucose.
- Fats are something like a reservoir of energy that the body can turn into Glucose when the situation requires it
- Vitamins are nutrients that the body can not generate by itself and do all sort of specific things in small quantities
- Proteins are what takes care of and repair every tissue of the organs of the body.
- Minerals make the bones stronger, the blood carries enough oxygen, and helps in the synthesis of DNA and RNA. (Electrolytes are a form of minerals)
That established, in the following article, we will tackle the first one of the nutrients that we mentioned, Carbohydrates.
What they do in our bodies?
To answer this we first need to ask another question;
What are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates?
The following list is about the aliments that have in them good carbohydrates:
- Vegetables: Any kind, which is great because a variety in the number of vegetables we consume daily is very important to have an overall good and healthy diet.
- Legumes: We include peas, beans, lentils, etc.
- Seeds: The most common ones to eat as a snack are chia or pumpkin seeds but sunflowers are also a great source.
- Nuts: Peanuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts… any kind of nuts have a good amount of carbs in them.
- Fruits: As well as with the vegetables, most fruits have carbs in them, but you need to take care of the amount of sugar they have. The least, the better, as a general rule.
- Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and every kind of the more than 200 varieties of tubers that exist.
- Whole grains: Quinoa and pure oats are some of the best choices.
The following list is about the aliments that have in them bad carbohydrates:
- Ice creams: Most, although not everyone, had a high concentration of sugars in them.
- Sugary drinks: They are unhealthy for a lot of reasons, and the amount of sugar that they have is one of the most notorious ones.
- Candy and chocolate: Unless dark or super-dark chocolates, these two are oozing in bad carbs.
- Cookies, cakes, etc: Once again, sugar all over them.
- Fruit juices: The ones that are ultra-processed tend to have a notorious amount of sugar in them, but the pulpier and more fresh and local juices that are low in conservatives, while not the same amount of good as regular fruit, are less bad.
- Fry food: The amount of oil that the food absolves makes them quite unhealthy even though the food in on itself used to be healthy. Potatoes or chicken are good examples.
You may have realized that we used the term sugar more than once, and that is because sugar is in fact a type of carbohydrates. A very packed, very dense (in terms of energy) carbohydrate. But the problem arises in that exact definition when the body is given more carbs than it can use in a day they are turned into a less-dense and more spacey form of the reservoir of energy, and we commonly refer to it as fats.
Having learned that then we can ask the question of:
How the body will react if you completely stop consuming carbs?
When you stop ingesting carbs, even for a single day, the body understands that as a “there was no food available today” signal and shifts the focus from harnessing new food to what it has stored before for moments like this. You start to feel hungry and even if you eat low-carb food you will continue to feel hungry because the body is in constant search of more carbs in particular.
What will the body use in the absence of carbs?
Automatically the body will start to turn the fats stores in our body into a more usable form of energy and, well, use it.
This may lead you to ask yourself:
Do you gain weight if we consume carbs?
The answer is… It depends. The recommended amount of carbs per day is advised to be somewhere around 55% of our whole aliment intake.
If you exceed that amount, the carbs that are not spent will slowly but surely turn into fat and get stored somewhere in your body; belly, glutes, arms… it depends on the DNA of the person and where it is most likely to them to store the fats.
What should be the portion size?
But 55% of our whole food intake is a strange way to measure it, knowing that each ailment has different densities and that everyone needs a different amount of energy intake according to their activity.
Conversing them to calories, an approximate amount of between 900 and 1200 according to your weight and the overall amount of exercise are enough. But what does that mean once again? That, some 290 or 300 grams of carbohydrates each day is a general estimative that in most cases is accurate.
And, to that value, add another almost half of other vitamins and aliments.
What are the good sources of carbs?
We mentioned before where you can find good carbs in food, but let’s expand on that list a bit and give you some ideas to spice up your meals as well:
It is not only a seed that is rich in carbs, but also in protein and fibers. Making it an almost necessary addition to a vegetarian or vegan diet, that can be moulded into an incredible variety of different meals. And if that wasn’t enough by itself, it also gives you a satiation feeling right away being an excellent option for losing weight as well!
Not a variety of wheat, but this pseudocereal when eaten raw contains somewhere around 70% of carbs. That is a lot. Being considered almost a superfood in Japan, with buckwheat they made soba noodles that are not only tasty but also have benefits to your hearth.
While not extremely recognized for their carb content, only at around 20 to 23 percent, they still have a quite notorious amount of them and of some other vitamins like potassium, vitamin B6 and C which makes them a great snack to give you the last kick of energy in your days.
In the same spot as bananas, they have quite moderate content of carbs at around the 15% mark but being so easily binged, tasty, and mostly cheap consists of one of the world’s most popular sources of carbs.
If you are on a weight-loss plan then you may be confused right now, Should you eat more carbs to have more energy or less and let the body slowly dissolve the fats by itself?
What should I keep in mind regarding carbs while on a weight-loss plan?
First of all, you need to know that exercise without diet is 10 times less likely to make you lose weight, as well as only dieting without exercising will leave you feeling weak and with no energy. So, the answer is both of them together, and take extra attention to the number of carbs you consume each day,
When aiming to lose your weight you have to consume fewer calories than you are spending to let the fats be slowly turned into energy and disappear. But no-eating at all is an awful answer and the best way to get quickly hurt in the process.
- Your carbohydrate intake must be only focused on the good carbohydrates list that I mentioned before
- The bad carbohydrates must be discarded as much as possible to ensure the process will continue to work
- The number of carbs should be around half your total calorie intake and to that add a lot of other vitamins, minerals, and proteins that the foods that are high on carbs may not have but your body regardless of needs.
- Carbohydrates are not inherently bad, you just need to find the good ones and incorporate them into your diet in an adequate manner to ensure that your body will be properly nourished, and in addition to that, you should have a proper exercise plan or routine to use that excess energy that carbs provide your body towards a fine goal.
- Some of the most renewed and healthiest foods that exist on the planet are very high on carbs and that does not make them less healthy at all.
- You should stay away from processed drinks, foods, and pastries that contain an enormous amount of sugar in them because albeit they are carbs, they will not have the result you are expecting.