What Is The Truth About Carbohydrates?

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There is so much being said about carbohydrates nowadays, especially as it pertains to dieting,that it's hard to make sense of it all.
To fully understand carbohydrates and the effect it has on our health, it's important for you to know that the most important function carbohydrates have on us is that they provide us with energy for the body, brain and the nervous system.
There are basically two types of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are foods that, when eaten, are converted to sugar by our bodies.
Simple carbohydrates are produced by our bodies from foods such as jams, table sugar, cakes, pies, chocolate, chips, beer and soft drinks.
Simple carbohydrates such as these are absorbed into the bloodstream at a fast rate and are what is often referred to as empty calories.
They are referred to as "empty" because, although they have lots of calories, they lack essential nutrients.
Furthermore, because they are absorbed so quickly, it's not long after eating these foods that you will soon crave more carbohydrates to provide you with more energy.
Additionally, simple carbohydrates can also be found naturally in foods such as milk, some vegetables, honey and some types of fruit.
These types of carbohydrates are different from the simple carbohydrates mentioned above, in that they contain much needed vitamins and minerals that the body can utilize.
Complex carbohydrates are usually referred to as starchy foods.
Some examples of complex carbohydrates are stone ground whole meal bread, oats, beans and legumes.
Additionally, some fruits and vegetables are considered complex carbohydrates as well.
These types of carbohydrates are released slowly by the body to produce energy that is long lasting and are great for people who are dieting, or participants in some sort of sporting activities such as hiking, climbing, or running.
When eaten, these foods cause you to feel fuller longer and provide you with energy for longer periods of time.
Moreover, complex carbohydrates provide our bodies with a whole range of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Ideally, carbohydrates should provide you with about 50% of your daily caloric intake.
To get a good idea of what this might mean, the following are a few suggested samples of servings of carbohydrates that you might consume over a period of a day to meet this requirement: Sample Menu 1 Bread and cereal: 3 slices of bread, a bowl of cereal, 1 serving of basmati rice Legumes: bean salad made of kidney beans, mung beans and chickpeas Fruit: 2 tangerines, 1 kiwi, small cup of grapes Sample Menu 2 Breads and cereal: 1 digestive biscuit, 2 slices of bread Vegetables: 1 baked potato in its skin, 1 cup cooked vegetables Fruit: 1 banana, 1 pear, 1 orange Sample Menu 3 Breads and cereal: 1 thin slice of carrot cake, small bowl of cereal, 4 slices of whole meal bread Vegetables: 1 cup of raw vegetables Fruit: 1 cup of melon, 1 peach Armed with a better understanding of what carbohydrates are and the effect they have on your health, you should be able to plan more balanced and nutritious meals for yourself and your family.
Overall, you should try to eliminate simple carbohydrates which come from processed foods as much as you can.
Replace them with simple carbohydrates from natural sources and increase the amount of food sources containing complex carbohydrates.
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