Health Benefits Of Carbohydrates

People working out at Habitat Health and Fitness know it takes more than just exercise to achieve their goals. It also takes a healthy diet. A healthy diet should include all macronutrients, including carbohydrates. Carbs get a bad rap. They’re blamed for weight gain and various maladies. Not all carbohydrates are bad. Some provide health benefits you can’t get any other way. The carbohydrate category is broad and includes both healthy foods like vegetables and fruit, and unhealthy ones like sugar and highly processed food.

Why are carbohydrates important?

Carbohydrates are one of the three categories of macronutrients. It’s one of three categories, with the other two being protein and fat. broad. It includes starch, sugar, and fiber. Carbohydrates provide the body with energy. There are simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs digest rapidly and spike the blood sugar. Complex carbs take longer to digest. Carbs can be fiber. There are two types of it, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber bonds with water creating a gel. The gel not only adds moisture to excrement to make it easier to pass, but it also feeds the microbes in the gut that keep us healthy. Insoluble fiber doesn’t digest but adds bulk to the stool.

There are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates.

Fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates, and so are whole grains. Those are healthy foods. They contain fiber and other nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Highly processed foods and foods with added sugar are also carbohydrates, but they have no nutrients. They only provide energy—calories. They digest quickly, so they cause a spike in blood glucose and an increase in insulin. When that happens too often, it can cause insulin resistance, obesity, and other problems.

Carbohydrates aren’t bad.

Eating too many of the wrong types of carbohydrates is unhealthy. That doesn’t make all carbohydrates bad. You’ll find many of the healthy carbs in the produce section of the grocery. These foods contain fiber, starch, and nutrients. Fiber prevents blood sugar from spiking by slowing sugar absorption. It feeds beneficial bacteria. Whole grains also contain fiber and other nutrients. All foods with fiber fill you up quickly and keep you feeling full longer, so they aid in weight loss. To be your healthiest, you need carbs in your diet, but they must be healthy carbs.

  • One type of starch is resistant starch. Like soluble fiber, it feeds the beneficial bacteria and the cells in the large intestine. Resistant starch helps prevent metabolic disease and colon cancer, increases insulin sensitivity, and aids in weight loss.
  • Foods high in carbohydrates provide nutrients that many high-protein animal products can’t provide. They include phytonutrients, vitamin C, and fiber. Phytochemicals are plant compounds that play a vital role in health.
  • Food can fit into several categories at the same time. While nuts contain carbohydrates, they also contain protein and fat. Milk is the only animal product containing a significant amount of carbs.
  • Avoiding food with added sugar can help both the body and the mind. A diet high in sugar can affect cognitive functioning, memory, mood, and create cravings for even more sugar.

For more information, contact us today at Habitat Health & Fitness

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