There is a notion that carbohydrates turn into fat. It is important for us to be mindful of our health and know how many grams of carbs per day should we take that matches our body condition.
Carbohydrates convert into glucose when digested. Glucose is the usable form of energy within the body, so what the body doesn’t end up using in the form of glucose is stored in the liver and the muscles which are called glycogen. Ones the immediate needs for energy are already delivered and the muscle, as well as the liver, has stored glycogen there is another process that will transpire which is the De Novo Lipogenesis or DNL.
This process is very interesting as this creates fat from a non-fat particle that all started with carbohydrates, and in this case, carbohydrates contribute greatly to weight gain.
Different people, different body types, and different health situations. It is important for us to understand first what carbohydrates is because not everything about it is bad, as our body needs carbohydrates and a great balance of these macronutrients as well. We will look in-depth about carbohydrates and how many grams of carbs per day should we take, its types, the benefits, and costs that affect our health, and identifying a smart way for carbs consumption.
What are Carbohydrates?
According to the American Diabetes Association; an organization that focuses on research and program, diabetes, battle against discrimination, access to health care, and improves the lives of people living with diabetes, is that “carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy, and they are called carbohydrates because they contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen at the chemical level.” Carb is a part of macronutrients which provides and is important to a healthy life. Its main functions are to provide energy for muscles to work properly and to act as a source of energy for the central nervous system. In addition, this stops and prevents proteins to be used as an energy source. There are three types of carbohydrates which are:
This type of carb contributes to one’s digestive health keeping the stomach on the regular while making you feel full and satisfied after eating. It is also indigestible as it passes through the intestines and is not digested. Fibers came from plant foods that contain many vitamins and minerals such as apple, berries, beans, legumes, grains, peanuts, and many more.
This type of carbohydrate is composed of numerous glucose units and glycosidic bonds combined. It is the most common carbs seen in diets and can be found in vegetables, grains, peas, corn, rice, and potato to name a few.
- Fruit Sugar (Fructose): commonly found in honey, berries, sugar cane that is absorbed in the blood during digestion with glucose and galactose. This compound may contribute to obesity, cholesterol, diabetes, and other ailments.
- Table Sugar (Sucrose): sourced and produced from plants like sugar cane and is refined. Too much of this can cause tooth decay and gout.
- Milk Sugar (Lactose): has a mildly sweet taste that is composed of galactose and glucose which is used as the main sugar in milk and other dairy products.
Benefits and Deficiencies
Carbohydrates are good for health, as they are part of the macronutrients that form a healthy body condition. The right kind of carbs will provide good benefits as needed for your health. Here are some of the benefits from carbohydrates:
- Nutrients: Fruits and vegetables contain great amounts of nutrients, antioxidants that are good for the body in keeping it healthy.
- Affects mental persona: Carbs help with the production of serotonin, the happy chemical.
- Weight loss: Dietary fibers helps a person feel satisfied and full to keep on track and lose weight.
- Heart Health: Carbs helps lower cholesterol levels through fiber and reducing bad cholesterol in the system
It is advisable to maintain intakes of carbohydrates to avoid health issues. To be aware, let’s look at the problems arising from carbohydrates:
- Hypoglycemia: A condition when blood sugar is below normal levels. Symptoms include:
- loss of consciousness
- Protein Consumption: Protein is being used as a source of energy when the body has very low carbs. This raises an issue as the body needs protein to build muscles.
- Digestive Problems: With the absence of fiber, or carbohydrates, it causes unhealthy digestion such as constipation.
- Bad for the brain: Low to no level of glucose makes brain function poorly leading to dizziness and mental weakness.
Smart Way to Carbs Consumption
Determining the number of carbs per grams is important to maintain a healthy body, may it be for weight loss or medical purposes. It is noteworthy to mention that conducting an assessment of your body about your weight, current medical condition, weight goals, and activity level must be recorded in setting up your personal targets for a program. It is best to talk with a medical expert, a dietitian or diabetes expert, to plan with you in giving you the right way and process for your health. We’ll look in some guidelines to give an idea of how this works:
- 20 to 50 grams per day: good for people who want great results, to lose weight at a faster rate. Also, this is close to the realistic range for people having difficulties with obesity and diabetes; it is still wise to talk with a medical expert regarding this.
- 50 to 100 grams per day: good for people wanting to lose weight and also maintains their current weight.
- 100 to 150 grams per day: good for people who maintain their weight and active.
Staying healthy is our responsibility to ourselves and understanding what we eat is crucial as it affects our body; especially in medical cases, aging, and changing a lifestyle. What works for one doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for another, so it’s best to assess and ask for consultations on the best moves before heading in a program. Hence, it is important for us to be mindful of our health and know the number of carbs that we take that match our body condition.