Carbohydrates are usually classified as good or bad. However, such labels are only misleading. Carbohydrates are neither good nor bad by nature. They are not necessary, but they do not harm us. That being said, some carbohydrates are of better quality. They are more valuable for health and well-being.
Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are three macroelements essential for our body. They are a source of energy. The three main types of carbohydrates include starch, fiber and sugars.
Starches are common in foods that are high in nutrients. We can find it in large quantities in beans, potatoes, as well as whole grains (brown rice, oats and quinoa). They are also high in fiber.
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, raspberries, blueberries, apples and nuts are rich in fiber. Naturally occurring sugars are found in many fruits and dairy products. Refined sugars are often added to sweets, cakes and sweetened drinks.
Simple and complex carbohydrates
There are simple and complex carbohydrates. The body digests complex carbohydrates more slowly than simple ones. Thanks to this, they can be processed more efficiently. Fiber-rich foods and large amounts of macroelements often also contain complex carbohydrates.
The body digests simple carbohydrates faster. For example, refined sugars are consumed quickly and provide few carbohydrates. Foods containing simple carbohydrates usually contain little (or no) nutrients. They are not necessarily bad, but relying on them for nutritional value can have a harmless effect on our health and fitness.
Too many low-quality carbohydrates can lead to extra calories. These, in turn, can contribute to weight gain. Combined with fewer vitamins and minerals, “bad” carbohydrates can affect many important reactions in the body. The problem is not the carbohydrates themselves, but the arrangement of a properly balanced diet.
Higher quality carbohydrates
They provide the body with glucose. They use it as cellular energy. However, they are not necessary for our body to receive energy. If you are insulin resistant or suffer from a metabolic disease such as diabetes, you need to pay more attention to carbohydrates.
Additional carbohydrates before training increase the intensity of exercise. After training, they replenish muscle glycogen to help recovery.
The most important facts about carbohydrates
You can find whole complex carbohydrates in unprocessed foods. It’s good to include vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your diet. They provide the necessary microelements. They are a source of energy throughout the day.
Add a variety of colorful vegetables and fruits to your diet to get a wide spectrum of trace elements. Thanks to this, you will provide your body with all the necessary nutrients.
Try to pay attention to the amount of carbohydrates in your diet. Also, pay more attention to fiber. Read the labels on the packaging. Make sure you are getting the right amount of fiber. The best proportion is 1 gram of fiber per 5 grams of carbohydrates. This 5-1 ratio helps slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates by the body. This way you can level your blood sugar. Remember to sleep well. Lack of sleep is one of the most common causes of acute insulin resistance. Finally, make sure you get good quality protein at every meal. Later, you can think about adding or limiting carbohydrates. Protein is necessary for proper cellular functions.
The role of carbohydrates-dietetic catering
When choosing dietetic catering, you can choose from various nutrition plans. The diet includes the right amount of carbohydrates.
If we train, carbohydrates are very important. They supplement glycogen, which the body needs to store and use energy. They also support the release of serotonin in the brain. It is necessary for the regeneration of the body after training. If you are constantly limiting carbohydrates, you may have significant regeneration problems.
Providing the right carbohydrates at the right time helps improve the body’s metabolic flexibility. It can support the burning of glucose and fat as an energy source.
However, if you do not train intensively, carbohydrates should constitute less than 30% of all your calories. Only very slim people and athletes can choose carbohydrates with a high glycemic index. They can eat white rice, potatoes and high-glycemic fruit. When choosing a menu in dietetic catering, pay attention to your physical activity.
Other people should choose carbohydrates without the addition of fructose and excess sugar. The best sources have a large amount of fiber. You can safely eat vegetables, beans, whole grains and low-fructose fruit.
Avoid products that contain a large amount of fructose. Eat carbohydrates primarily after training (from one to four hours). Then your body is more sensitive to insulin. At other times, choose protein and healthy fats.