Carbohydrates - should they be feared? / NUTRITION

Carbohydrates - should they be feared?

Olimp Sport Nutrition
2021-04-27
Carbohydrates - should they be feared?

The main problem of excessive body weight is the current diet. Often people in the process of losing weight decide on stringent restrictions, e.g. in the form of giving up carbohydrates altogether. Is it worth to be afraid of carbohydrates? Is the complete elimination of sugars from the diet the solution to the problem?

What should you know about carbohydrates?

The starting point is, of course, to indicate the important difference between the forms of carbohydrates. The first group includes substances commonly referred to as monosaccharides. As the name suggests, mono- and disaccharides are characterised by their uncomplicated structure. This means that monosaccharides are digested very quickly, which, combined with their high bioavailability, means that they are rapidly absorbed by the body. The result is the immediate release of a large amount of energy, which lasts for a short period of time. Examples of simple sugars are glucose, sucrose, fructose and lactose.

 

Complex carbohydrates are substances containing three or more sugar molecules. In the case of complex carbohydrates, the body needs significantly more time to digest them, which results in a gradual release of the accumulated energy. However, the presumed increase in energy reserves lasts much longer, which can be useful, for example, when cycling for many hours or during a long distance running race. Representatives of this group of carbohydrates include glycogen, maltodextrin, starch or insoluble fibre.

 

The difference in the rate of energy release is related to two important issues. Firstly, a rapid increase in energy results in a sharp spike in blood glucose levels. Secondly, the increased sugar spike leads to an intense insulin release. The result? The stimulated release of insulin from the pancreatic cells promotes the intensification of triglyceride formation and storage, which results in the gradual accumulation of fat tissue.

Is it worth being afraid of carbohydrates?

Giving up carbohydrates completely is certainly not the answer. The body uses simple and complex forms of sugars as a source of energy for the nervous system or as an essential component for the resynthesis of muscle glycogen, among other things. Extremes usually do not bring good results for the metabolism. How should carbohydrates be consumed so that they do not pose a risk of putting on weight?

 

It is a good idea to analyse products according to their glycemic index (GI). The GI index indicates the rate at which sugar levels will rise and the chance of insulin release after eating a particular foodstuff. The higher the glycemic index value, the higher the risk of uncontrolled changes in glucose levels. This knowledge is not only useful for diabetics, but also for anyone who wants to maintain a slim body. It is not difficult to find information on the web about the list of low and medium GI products, making it much easier to compose a nutritional plan and remove the fear of carbohydrate consumption.