Carbohydrates are organic compound that contains various types of sugar units. Carbohydrate is widely known as the main source of the energy in your daily life. But, since many people have some problems with carbohydrate, especially associated with their weight gain, other people become little bit dubious when they’re consuming carbohydrate, while the amount of people who choose to avoid carbohydrates at all cost is also huge. In fact, carbohydrate is very fundamental in your daily life. The following statements will show you how important carbohydrate is for your life.
The Importance of Carbohydrates
For everyone of you who avoid carbohydrate at all cost, you need to read this section since in this section, we will provide you important facts that might change your perspective, concern and dubious feeling about carbohydrate. Here are the important facts about carbohydrate, according to the National Academies Institute of Medicine.
- If you want to prevent yourself from many chronic diseases and fulfill your daily nutritional value, every adult must get 45% to 65% of their calories from carbohydrate, 20% to 35% from fat, and 10% to 35% from protein.
- You need the intake of fruits and vegetables since they contain high amount of fibers. Fibers is truly beneficial for the health of your heart, digestive system, many other parts of the body.
Health Benefits of Carbohydrate
Now after you found out the importance of carbohydrates, through this article you will also find out the various greatness that the carbohydrates could offer to your body. Here are the health benefits of carbohydrates.
- Boost The Energy
There is no doubt that the main source of the energy that makes you become energetic throughout the day is coming from carbohydrates. So, how could the carbohydrates produce so much energy for our body. First of all, you need to know that carbohydrates are commonly known for its ability to increase the blood sugar levels and this is the most important thing to answer why carbohydrates could makes you more energetic throughout the day.
So, your body, just after you ate the foods, will break down the starches and sugar compounds in the food that you just ate and absorbs them in the bloodstream into a glucose. This glucose is the source that makes you become energetic. In fact, your body need spretty high amounts of glucose to enable you to do some heavy-weight activities throughout the day. Also, your brain need high amounts of glucose to do their function properly. Without carbohydrates, you’ll be more likely to feel sluggish and fatigue in your daily activity.
- Prevent Blood Clots
As already mentioned above, fiber is commonly made from bonded sugars and thus, the carbohydrates commonly also become a good source of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is very beneficial to inhibit the formation of accumulated fat and cholesterol in the body, commonly known as a plaque. This plaque, if you let it grow inside of your body, will make a blood clots disorder which then will block the flow of the oxygen-rich blood to the heart and thus, it will lead you to a very dangerous disease called heart attack. So, make sure you consume enough amount of carbohydrates to prevent the formation of this plaque.
In addition to that, consume carbohydrates will also inhibit the formation of the plaque in the arteries in the brain too. if this plaque forms in the arteries, this will lead to stroke because the oxygen-rich blood can’t flow into your brain. So, it is very dangerous right? consume carbohydrates wisely and you’ll get the full advantage of it.
- Improve Digestion System
To get the full advantage of it, you need to make sure that you consume fiber-rich carbohydrates. When you’re consuming fiber-rich carbohydrates, it would be beneficial to prevent you from the symptoms associated with the unhealthy digestive system, such as constipation and indigestion. The insoluble fiber that contained in the carbohydrates will push the foods that you just ate through the digestive tract and thus, it will speed up the digestion process. You need to consume carbohydrates in sufficient amount so that you’ll get the fiber that will keep the health of the digestive system.
- Control Your Weight
Have you ever heard that many people always blame the carbohydrates when their weight increasing suddenly? Well, we think that those blame on carbohydrate is very harsh since in fact, the addition of carbohydrate will be very crucial to maintain and controlling your weight. The fiber that contained in the carbohydrates will be very beneficial to maintain the weight of your body because it can add bulk to your diet. Consuming carbohydrate in the right amount is also beneficial to make you feel full and satisfy your appetite longer that any other nutrients and vitamins. This without a doubt will stop you from grabbing some unhealthy snacks which will increase your body weight in a short amount of time.
- Boost Your Mood
It is no surprise that carbohydrates can boost your mood. According to some researchers, consuming carbohydrates in the right amount would be very beneficial to stimulate the production of serotonin hormone. Serotonin hormone is widely known for its ability to release the feel-good feeling inside your body, which then without a doubt will boost your mood throughout the day.
In fact, according to a study conducted by the Archives of Internal Medicine, sufficient amount of carbohydrate will be very beneficial to make you feel happy throughout the day. In that study, the Archives of Internal Medicine found out that the people who followed the very low-carb diet experienced more depression and anxiety in their daily lives compared to people who followed the low-fat, high-carb diet that focused in low-fat dairy products, whole grains, beans, and fruits.
- Keep Your Memory Sharp
Do you know that consuming carbohydrates in sufficient amount would be very beneficial for the health of your memory, and in fact, your memory will be sharper than before? Well, that statement is really spot on. Many studies evidence the link between the consumption carbohydrate and the ability of people to memorize things. According to American Dietetic Association Guidelines, conducted by Tufts University evidence that carbohydrate will sharpen your memory.
So, the Tufts University conducted a study based on overweight women who followed low-carbohydrate diet and the overweight women who followed the low-calorie diet. The result of the study is that the women who followed the low-carbohydrate diet experienced a difficulty in visuospatial memory, for example remembering the locations on a map compared with the women who followed a low-calorie diet. Also, the study also found out that the women who followed low-carbohydrate did worse on the tests of working memory. So, it is very essential to consume carbohydrate in a right amount.
- Burn More Fat
You might be surprised that carbohydrates can burn more fat, but this is the fact. According to a study from the Journal of Nutrition, eating a breakfast with ‘slow-release’ carbohydrates like oatmeal or cereal turns out to be very beneficial to burn your fat. Some studies evidence that foods with ‘slow-release’ carbohydrates will not increase the blood sugar rapidly compared with refined carbohydrates and thus, the insulin level will not increase rapidly too. For your information, insulin is a hormone that has responsibility to give the signal to your body to store the fat. The lower level of the insulin in the body, you might have a chance to burn your fat and lose some weight.
But, please take a notice that you just can’t eat every carbohydrates to take the full advantage of this benefit. You must make sure that you choose carbohydrates that contain dietary-fiber and low calorie that commonly contained in fruits or vegetables. You need to avoid refined carbohydrates like white toast, cakes, bread, cookies, and sugar.
- Maintain Body Composition
Carbohydrate is also will be beneficial to maintain your body composition once you find the ideal fat and muscle proportions, at least in three different ways.
The first thing is, carbohydrate will turned into a glucose once already processes in the body. Glucose is very useful to produce thyroid hormone in the liver.
The second one, glucose that made from carbohydrates will elevate the production of insulin hormone, which is also has a responsibility to stimulate the production of the hormone leptin. This hormone will reduce the feel of hunger in the stomach and thus, it will also stimulate you to eat less.
The third one is, the carbohydrates will help you to balance the amount of cortisol. The sufficient amount of cortisol will keep the ability and the strength of your muscle. This cortisol is very important for your body since lack of cortisol will lead you to a detrimental effect on your body composition.
- Good For Athlete
Do you know that carbohydrate is also very essential to boost the performance of the athletes? Well, you already know that carbohydrates will provide your body some energy and thus, you will feel more energetic throughout the day. Some studies evidence that the consumption of carbohydrate about 0,9 g/kg/hour for exercise alongside with 0,2 g/kg/hour of protein will improve the durability in athletes. Their performance when exercising turns out to be increased as high as 6,5 percent when the’re consuming the exact amount of both carbohydrate and protein.
In addition to that, the consumption of carbohydrate is also very efficient to stimulate the activity of central nervous system drive in the brain, so that the athletes can have a better focus and also strength output.
- Fasten Your Recovery From Training
Carbohydrate turns out to be very good remedies right after your intensive workout. Carbohydrate is widely known for the best calorie provider, because it can replenish the glycogen stores in your body. Although we understand that everyone of you hate the foods that contain high calorie, but in case when you’re about to have some intensive training, you definitely need the intake of high amount calorie. This calorie will be beneficial for a speedy recovery after intense exercise. In fact, many people who are not eating enough carbohydrates will suffer from the muscle weakness and thus, you’ll be very susceptible of having an injury.
- Reduced the Risk of Cancer
You might be very surprised to fiund out that carbohydrates can reduce the risk of cancer, since consuming carbohydrates is widely known could increase the blood sugar levels in the body rapidly and thus, you’ll be more susceptible of having obesity, and thus will lead you to various cancers. That fact is true by the way, but for certain carbohydrate, like whole grain for example, in fact will bring you the total opposite benefits. The certain carbohydrate that contains plant fiber will reduce the possibility of you having a various cancer like colon cancer, stomach cancer, and intestinal cancer. So, you need to consume the healthy carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and don’t be afraid to consume them.
- Improve Sleep Quality
Consuming carbohydrate in sufficient amount in the body would be very beneficial to get you a good-night sleep. This is because the right amount of carbohydrate in the body will stimulate the neurotransmitter in the brain to produce serotonin hormone. This serotonin hormone will bring us the sleepiness in the night and thus, we will sleep with the highest quality and stay fresh in the morning.
So, everyone of you might wonder how the carbohydrate can stimulate the production of serotonin? well, the answer is that the carbohydrate will stimulate the activity of insulin in the body. The insulin activity in our body means that the amino acid level in our blood will be decreased, which will enable one of the amino acid called tryptophan can easily go through the blood brain barrier and then it will be converted into serotonin hormone.
- Reduced the Risk of Diabetes
Everyone of you might also very surprised that carbohydrates actually very beneficial to reduce the possibility of having diabetes. But, it’s not for sugar or refined carbohydrate. The kind of carbohydrate that is very beneficial to reduce the possibility of diabetes is the fiber, that contained in fruits and vegetables for example. This fiber is very useful to add in your diet since it has a low amount of calorie, and wouldn’t make the blood sugar level in the body will increase drastically. In fact, the diet with the high intake of dietary fibers would be beneficial to reduce the risk of having diabetes because it will reduce the insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.
- Stored Fuel
Eating more carbohydrate means that you’ll be more likely to have an excess glucose in the body. Meanwhile, the glucose that not needed for the energy will be transformed into a compound called glycogen. Then, your liver will create the glycogen chains up of thousand of glucose in the process called glycogenesis. Then, when you’re feeling sort of energy, your body will break this glycogen chain into a glucose, which will prevent your body from the dangerous drops in your blood sugar levels.
- Healthier Skin
One of the type carbohydrate, which is dietary fiber, is widely known for the perfect source for maintaining and promotes healthier skin. So, you might wonder how the fiber can promote healthier skin? Well, after we just consume foods that contain high amounts of fiber, the fiber will binds the cholesterol.
Also, the fiber will be very beneficial to get rid of various toxins out of your body. The toxins that contained in your body will bring various bad effects for you, but the main bad effect from the toxins is related to the health of your skin and thus, when the toxins get out from your body because of the fiber, your body will have a clear blood flow which then can promote healthier skin.
- Provide Various Minerals
Carbohydrate is also very beneficial for you if you feel that you’re not having enough of certain minerals because with the addition of carbohydrate, it will fulfill the needs of minerals in your body. A complex carbohydrate, especially starchy vegetables contains various minerals, mainly potassium and magnesium, which both will be very essential to reduce the risk of having heart disease risk of having high blood pressure. Aside from that, carbohydrate will also a perfect provider for zinc.
- Release Antioxidant
Do you know that carbohydrate will also very beneficial to release the antioxidant? Well, you might know that the perfect source to release the antioxidant is Vitamin C, and you’re right. Starchy vegetables contain Vitamin C and beta-carotene, which will release the antioxidant and thus, it will be beneficial to fight against the free radicals. Starchy carbohydrate such as potatoes are particularly very rich in the Vitamin C. In fact, one medium baked potato will provide you about 33 percent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. So, you should eat carbohydrate to protect yourself from the dangerous free radicals.
Classification of Carbohydrates
Basically carbohydrates can be divided mainly into three different groups, they are sugar, starch, and fiber. Here is the explanation of each carbohydrate type:
Sugar is the simplest kind of carbohydrates and we can find it in many forms of foods like milk, yoghurt, cheese, and many more. So, there are basically two types of sugar:
- Naturally occurring sugar, such as those in milk or fruits.
- Added sugar, such as every cookie that you buy from the supermarket, cake, syrup, or carbonated drinks.
While this type of carbohydrate will be very beneficial to give you some energies, you need to watch carefully the consumption of this kind of carbohydrate since this kind of carbohydrate will increase your blood sugar level rapidly and if you consume it excessively, it will lead you to chronic diseases such as cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and also, hear attack and stroke.
Starch is one of the kind of complex carbohydrate. The starch is basically the form of bonded sugar. So, you could find some foods that contain high amount starch in:
- Dried beans and peas, like kidney beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, split peas, and black eyed peas.
- Starchy vegetables, like lima beans, peas, corn, and potatoes.
- Whole Grains product, like oats, bread, cereal, and crackers
Starchy foods are very important too for our body since it will our body an energy together with various beneficial nutrients like iron, calcium, Vitamins B complex, and fibers of course. So, everyone of you who’re afraid to consuming it due to its calorie, don’t be hesitated to consume it as long as you consume it wisely, and in a proper amount of course.
The fiber type of carbohydrate is mainly coming from plants and fruits. This type of carbohydrate is indigestible, which means that when you’re already consuming it, it will be just passing through the intestine. This type of carbohydrate is the most beneficial type for your overall health, because it will bring good effects for the health of the digestive system, heart, brain, and any other parts in your body.
Here is the list of the foods that contain high amounts of dietary-fiber:
- Beans and peas, such as chickpeas, thin black beans, kidney beans, and lentils.
- Fruits and vegetables, especially fruits and vegetables, which have seeds and edible skin.
- Whole grains, such as whole pasta, whole grain cereals, whole grain breads.
Recommended Daily Intake of Carbohydrate
After you know the health benefits of carbohydrate and the various types of carbohydrate, you might be very interested to take carbohydrate in your daily life But, you might be wonder the amount of carbohydrate you need to take on a daily routine. Well, the need of daily intake of carbohydrate from one person to another person is quite different. But, you need to check out the following daily intake tips for carbohydrate.
Daily Calorie Needs
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the daily calorie need so that your healthy body weight can be maintained is:
- Women : Generally about 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day.
- Men : Generally about 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day.
Percent of Calories
So, now you already know your calorie daily requirements. So, according to the Institute of Medicine, each day you need to consume about 45 to 65 percent of your daily calorie intake from carbohydrate. So,you need to consume at least 130 grams of carbohydrate everyday so that you can control your weight and get the full advantage of it.
Side Effects of Taking Carbohydrate Excessively
Now you already know that you need 45 to 65 percent of your calories everyday from carbohydrate. So, don’t take carbohydrate more than the recommended dose since it without a doubt will lead you to various chronic diseases such as:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Disease
So, now you already know everything that you need to know about carbohydrate. Since this carbohydrate will bring you tons of greatness, you don’t need to worry about anything actually when you consume it, as long as you’re following the recommended daily intake of carbohydrate. To get the full advantage of carbohydrate, you better choose the healthy carbohydrate such as fruits, vegetables, and grains, rather than refined carbohydrate that contain high amount of calorie and sugar such as cookies, cake, syrup, and carbonated drink. Stay healthy with carbohydrate!