When we talk about diets, meal plans, losing weight, etc. We come across terms like calories and carbohydrates. In the end, we all keep repeating that we have to count the calories we eat and that we have to watch out for the carbohydrate content of foods; but do we really understand what carbohydrates are? And do we know which foods contain carbohydrates?
In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about carbohydrates, so you can start making much better nutritional decisions based on carbohydrate-containing foods, as well as take better control over your diet.
- Related article “Diet to lose weight quickly and in a healthy way”.
What are carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates, which are also called are also called carbohydrates, glucides or saccharides, are a very important nutrient for the body.are a very important nutrient for the correct functioning of our organism. Carbohydrates are molecules that are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, and are essential for our body since they are responsible for providing the energy we need and for storing it.
All the functions of our organism need energy. When we eat foods containing carbohydrates, an enzyme called amylase is responsible for breaking down these carbohydrate molecules into glucose; glucose is the gasoline used by the body to carry out its functions.
For every gram of carbohydrate we eat, we get 4 kilocalories (Kcal).. The distribution of this energy (kilocalories) in the form of sugar in the blood is done by our body, first supplying all the caloric needs for the proper functioning of the body, and then storing a small amount in the liver and muscles.
From then on, any excess glucose remains in the body and is converted into adipose tissue, i.e. fat. This is why calorie counting has become so popular, especially in weight loss programs; so that in our nutrition, foods containing carbohydrates, adapt to the caloric intake that our body needs without leaving any remaining that can be transformed into fats.
Are carbohydrates bad?
It is often said that “carbohydrates are fattening”. We usually think that carbohydrates are bad because we relate them only with accumulated fat and weight gain, so we try to avoid them at all costs. The truth is that carbohydrates are essential for our body, as long as it can perform properly.They are essential for our body, as long as it can properly fulfill all its functions.
What you do need to learn is how to make better choices of carbohydrate-containing foods, so that they are healthier and more rapidly absorbed, supply all the necessary calorie intake and avoid surplus. So you won’t have to worry about a few extra pounds.
That’s why you should know that there are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. you should know that there are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex carbohydrates.They are determined according to their nutritional content and the speed with which the body can absorb them.
Simple carbohydrates are those that are composed of simple sugars that are rapidly absorbed and have a fairly low nutritional content, which is why they are also called “bad carbohydrates”. are also called “bad carbohydrates”..
On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are structurally composed of three or more types of sugars that form a chain. They are complex because their nutritional content includes fiber, vitamins and minerals; their absorption is slower, so they do not increase blood sugar levels, which is why they are also known as “bad carbohydrates”. they are also known as “good carbohydrates”..
Foods containing carbohydrates
These are the foods that contain carbohydrates, differentiated between simple and complex carbohydrates, so that you can identify them and make better nutritional decisions.
Simple or “bad” carbohydrates
Foods containing simple carbohydrates are characterized by fructose, glucose, galactose, sucrose or maltose..
These are sugar, white flour and refined foods such as pastries, cakes, sweets, chocolates, honey, jam, soft drinks, packaged cereals, candy, carbonated beverages (soft drinks), white rice, pasta, pizzas and prepared foods, beer, alcoholic beverages, products processed from corn and products processed from potatoes.
- Tip: Fruits, because of their fructose content, and milk products, because of their galactose content, being of only one type of sugar, are considered as foods containing simple carbohydrates. However, they are rich in vitamins and minerals. If you choose simple carbohydrates, make them these.
Complex or “good” carbohydrates
Foods containing complex carbohydrates are characterized by starch, pectin, glycogen and fiber..
You find them in starchy foods such as the legume family (lentils, beans, chickpeas, barley), in foods made with whole grains (different breads, brown rice, whole wheat pasta), vegetables (broccoli, spinach, zucchini, bananas, avocado, asparagus, cabbage, eggplant, cucumber, celery, carrots, mushrooms, peppers, garlic, onion, tomatoes and many others), tubers (cassava, potato), seeds such as nuts, oats, corn, quinoa.
- Related article: “10 foods that you can consume every day”.
Remember that the secret is always a balanced diet And when it comes to carbohydrates and calories, try not to eat more than your body needs so that it doesn’t store them as fat. Read food labels if you are not sure which carbohydrate-containing food group it belongs to.
Don’t get obsessed with counting caloriesInstead, integrate the basics of a healthy diet and make it part of your life. Keep in mind that we don’t all have the same needs and our bodies are different; so find the balance your body needs.