Carbohydrates are one of the major food categories; the others include proteins and fats. Carbs provide fuel for the body in the form of glucose. Glucose is a sugar that is the primary means of energy for all of the body’s cells.
There are two ways to classify carbohydrates—simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are sugars—like glucose, sucrose, lactose and fructose.
They are found in refined sugar and in fruits. Complex carbohydrates are the starches. They are found in beans, nuts, vegetables and whole grains. They are considered healthier, mostly because they are digested by the body slowly and provide a steady source of energy; they also contain valuable amounts of fiber.
Carbohydrates, rather than fats or proteins, have the most immediate effect on your blood glucose since they are broken down directly into sugar early during digestion. It is important to eat the suggested amount of carbohydrates at each meal, along with some protein and fat.
Carbohydrates are mainly found in these food groups: fruit, milk and yogurt, bread, cereal, rice, pasta and starchy vegetables. You will need to consider the total amount of carbohydrates when working out your daily meal plan. Your physician and a nutritional expert should be consulted for your individual eating restrictions and requirements.
Health and happiness, Kriss