Understanding of carbohydrates Essay
Understanding of carbohydrates, 476 words essay example
Not all carbohydrates are bad. Let's find out which carbs are important and which ones we definitely should choose to put on our diet list.
Surely, some carbohydrates may be better for us than the others. That's the reason why it's recommended that we understand more about carbohydrates in order to make a wiser choice for our diet.
Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient which can be found in many kinds of foods and drinks. Most of the carbohydrates are naturally occuring in grains or many other plant-based foods. Besides, food manufacturers can add carbohydrates to their processed foods in the form of added sugar or starch.
Common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates include
Types of carbohydrates
3 main types of carbohydrates include sugar, starch and fiber.
Sugar. This is the most simple form of carbohydrates. Sugar occurs naturally in some foods such as vegetables, fruits, milk and milk products. Sugars include fruit sugar fructose [ fruit sugar] , sucrose [ table sugar] and lactose [ milk sugar]
Starch. This is is a complex type of carbohydrate, which means starch is made of many sugar units bonded together. Starch occurs naturally in grains, vegetables, and cooked dry beans and peas.
Fiber. This is also a complex carbohydrate. Fiber occurs naturally in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and cooked dry beans and peas.
More carbohydrate terms Net carbs and glycemic index
"low carb" or "net carbs" are the terms often seen on product labels however there is no legal definition or standard meaning because the Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate these terms.
Some food companies use the term "net carbs" to mean the total grams of carbohydrate excluding the grams of fiber or excluding fiber , sugar alcohols, and glycerine, which is not totally accurate though as some sugar alcohols and fiber are absorbed by the body. In fact, about 50% of sugar alcohols are metabolized to glucose.
Therefore, when we see "net carbs" on a label, it's better for us to read the nutrition facts as well as the ingredients list for more information.
Many of us might have already heard about "glycemic index" which is used to catagorize carbohydrate-containing foods according to their potential to increase blood sugar levels.
When we have a weight-loss diet which is based on the glycemic index, it is usually recommended that we should limit foods higher on the glycemic index such as potatoes and corn. Besides, we should also limit less healthy options including snack foods and desserts containing refined flours.
Many healthy foods which are naturally lower on the glycemic index include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and low-fat dairy products
How many carbohydrates do we need?
Carbohydrates account for about half of our total daily calories [ varrying from 45 to 65%] Therefore, if we get 2,000 calories a day, then about 1000 calories should be from carbohydrates. In other words, we need about 225 or 325 grams of carbohydrates a day.