Carbohydrates, Tammie Ballard, Food Technologist, USDA/Aerobic Instructor

Definition:  A large group of sugars, starches, celluloses, and gums that contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in similar proportions.

Function:  The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system.  Carbohydrates are quickly broken down into sugars that cause blood sugar to reach high points and insulin to be secreted.

Recommendations:  It is recommended that somewhere between 40 to 60% of our total calories should come from carbohydrates, preferably from complex carbohydrates and naturally occurring sugars rather than processed or refined sugars.

·      Complex carbohydrates provide calories, vitamins and minerals as well as fiber. These carbs are digested slowly.  They can help curb hunger appetite by keeping blood sugar level even and that helps weight loss. To increase complex carbohydrates eat more: fruits; vegetables; whole grain rice, breads, and cereals; beans; lentils and dried peas.

·        Simple carbohydrates are high-sugar foods that provide calories, but minimal nutritional benefits.  They are digested quickly, causing your blood sugar to surge and then drop a few hours later causing a feeling of hunger and can lead to overeating.  As always, eat serving sizes.  Make this a lifestyle change one day at a time.

As always eat serving sizes.  Check the “Food Guide Pyramid” or read food labels for “Nutritional Facts” for serving size.  Make it lifestyle change.  One day at a time.

 

 

 

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