Carbohydrates provide energy for the body. Once consumed, they travel to the liver, which breaks them down into glucose, or blood sugar. Carbohydrates are especially used to provide energy to the brain and to the central nervous system.
Carbohydrates are labeled as complex or simple. This label is defined by the particular chemical structure of the food. It also reflects how fast the sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. Complex carbohydrates have three or more sugars, while simple carbohydrates have only one or two. Foods high in carbohydrates include starches, fibers, and sugars.
Effects on Health
Eating too many foods high in carbohydrates can cause your calorie intake to go up, making you gain unwanted weight. Alternately, a lack of carbohydrates can cause malnutrition and weaknesses.
Carbohydrates provide most of the energy the body needs to function. About 55% of your energy foods should come from different varieties of carbohydrates. Much more than that, however, can be detrimental to health. Someone who derives 75% or more of total energy from carbohydrates can be lacking in protein and fats.
Health problem can develop when someone eats too many complex carbohydrates that contain refined sugars. These sugars lack vitamins and fiber but offer a lot of calories. Eating too much refined sugar will lead to weight gain. Examples of these foods include white flour, polished rice, table sugar, and white pasta. A good rule to remember when eating carbohydrates is to eat them in as natural a form as possible.
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