Level 3 & 4 AFN UK Diet Specialist
“Stop eating too much carbs, don’t you know that’ll make you fatter?”
“Nah, I’m on a low carb diet, I’m trying to lose weight you see”
“Low carb diet? Yeah I’m on that so I could make more muscle gains!”
We’ve heard all of these everywhere but what is the real truth about carbs? Everyone seems to contradict each side whether they are good for you or if they are bad for your body.
Are they good for you or are they bad for you?
Let’s start from square one.
What is a Carbohydrate?
According to MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopaedia I quote
“Carbohydrates are one of the main nutrients in our diet. They help provide energy for our body. There are three main types of carbohydrates found in foods: sugars, starches, and fibre. People with diabetes often need to count the amount of carbohydrates they eat”
So when you think of the word carbohydrate, the first thing that’ll come to your mind is bread or pasta most probably. According to the quote from MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopaedia, carbohydrates can be starches, fibre and what is most surprising: sugar.
All foods in the world are made up of either 3 macronutrients
Proteins mostly consist of meat and nuts, fats are mostly oil and creamy-looking substances like butter and avocados.
So everyone’s favourite sugary treats all belong to the carbs because essentially, sugars are carbohydrates.
Many people understood that carbohydrates are sugars which then turned to the mentality since sugars are “bad” for you that carbohydrates are bad for you.
Do you know what is actually bad for you?
Anything in excess
-Anything in excess? So you’re telling me that even if I have all the healthy fruits and vegetables in the world in one day I won’t be immortal and I will be able to shoot laser beams out of my eyes??
The true view in a fit lifestyle is a balanced diet
-Balanced? So you mean I can eat sugary treats right?
Yeah but it moderation, that’s why it’s called balanced; you’re getting a decent variety of macronutrients and minerals from what you eat.
Now let’s continue more on the “basics” of carbohydrates, going back to biology class, carbohydrates are also known as saccharides.
What are Saccharides (sugar)?
Saccharides, or carbohydrates, are sugars or starches. Saccharides consist of two basic compounds: aldehydes (composed of double-bonded carbon and oxygen atoms, plus a hydrogen atom), and ketones (composed of double-bonded carbon and oxygen atoms, plus two additional carbon atoms).
There are various types of saccharides, including monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides.
Monosaccharides (Literally means 1 sugar)
This is the smallest possible sugar unit. Examples include glucose, galactose or fructose. When we talk about blood sugar we are referring to glucose in the blood; glucose is a major source of energy for a cell.
In human nutrition, galactose can be found most readily in milk and dairy products, while fructose is found mostly in vegetables and fruit.
When monosaccharides merge together in linked groups they are known as polysaccharides.
Disaccharides (Literally means 2 sugars)
Two monosaccharide molecules bonded together. Disaccharides are polysaccharides – “poly…” specifies any number higher than one, while “di…” specifies exactly two. Examples of disaccharides include lactose, maltose, and sucrose. If you bond one glucose molecule with a fructose molecule you get a sucrose molecule.
Sucrose is found in table sugar, and is often formed as a result of photosynthesis (sunlight absorbed by chlorophyll reacting with other compounds in plants).
If you bond one glucose molecule with a galactose molecule you get lactose, which is commonly found in milk.
People who are lactose-intolerant means their body cannot break down lactose (a disaccharide) into its two monosaccharides galactose and glucose. Since it cannot be broken down (because they lack the enzyme lactase which breaks down lactose), the lactose stays in the digestive system so long that bacteria come and ferment the lactose causing bloating, diarrhoea, nausea and bloating.
Polysaccharides (Literally means more than 2 sugars)
A chain of two or more monosaccharides. The chain may be branched (molecule is like a tree with branches and twigs) or unbranched (molecule is a straight line with no twigs). Polysaccharide molecule chains may be made up of hundreds or thousands of monosaccharides.
Polysaccharides are polymers. A simple compound is a monomer, while a complex compound is a polymer which is made of two or more monomers. In biology, when we talk about building blocks, we are usually talking about monomers.
A polysaccharide that humans and animals store in the liver and muscles.
These are glucose polymers made up of Amylose and Amylopectin. Amylose molecule chains are linear (long but no branches) while Amylopectin molecules are long and branch out – some Amylopectin molecules are made of several thousand glucose units.
Starches are not water soluble. Humans and animals digest them by hydrolysis – our bodies have amylases which break them down. Rich sources of starches for humans include potatoes, rice and wheat.
-What does all of this have to do with carbs?
Since carbs are sugars, their complexity and structure makes a difference when we consume them. Monosaccharides are easy to absorb while polysaccharides are harder to break down and absorb.
Visit: http://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/652618 to purchase this book to continue reading. Show the author you appreciate their work!
The Carbspiracy is a book written by UK's Level 3 & 4 AFN (Association for Nutrition) Certified Diet Specialist Jonathan Sumner concerning about all the questions about carbohydrates answering a multitude of unknown questions. It is a must read as it will clear your mind about what the media is trying to monetise from the everyday Joe and Jane's confusion. Don't be fooled anymore and finally get to know and learn the truth about carbs from an expert's view. The Carbspiracy answers a multitude of questions such as Are carbs good for you or are they bad for you? Should I cut out carbs? Are carbs more filling than protein? What carbs should I be eating? What are carbs? Do carbs make you fat? What do carbs do to my cholesterol levels? and many more. End your confusion for a short read about carbohydrates, 1 of the most popular macro nutrients which are specialised in energy release and energy storage.