What Are Carbohydrates and Why Do You Need Them?
You need carbohydrates because they are the most important and desirable source of energy for your body.
Where Do Carbohydrates Come From?
The carbohydrates we eat come from plant based foods. Plants make and store carbohydrates.
Plants Convert the Sun’s Energy Into Glucose
What Are Simple and Complex Carbohydrates?
Monosaccharides and Disaccharides are simple carbohydrates. There are three monosaccharides found in food:
Fructose found in fruit
When two of these groups join together they form disaccharides:
Maltose found in wheat
Sucrose which is table sugar
Lactose found in dairy foods
Polysaccharides are complex Carbohydrates
Starch is the storage form in plants
Fiber is no digestible but important
There are two kinds of fiber
Soluble fiber dissolves in water
Insoluble fiber that doesn’t dissolve in water.
What Happens To The Carbohydrates You Eat?
You digest carbohydrates in your mouth and intestines
Some people cannot digest milk sugar and they are lactose intolerant. Consuming smaller amounts of dairy foods can be better tolerated.
How Does Your Body Use Carbohydrates?
Your body uses carbohydrates for energy, specifically glucose and there are hormones in your body that regulate the amount of glucose in your blood.
Insulin Regulates Glucose In Your Body
If the amount of glucose in your body exceeds your body’s immediate energy needs then insulin directs it to be stored for later use.
Glucose is stored in your muscles, liver and as fat.
Carbohydrates Fuel Your Body Between Meals
As your glucose blood level begins to drop, your pancreas releases glucagon which directs the release of glucose in your liver through out your body. This is called glycogenolysis.
Carbohydrates Fuel Your Body During Fasting.