Carbohydrates

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

Natural Weight Loss

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Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates supply your body with the energy it needs to function.

They’re found almost exclusively in plant foods, like fruits, vegetables, peas, grains, and beans.

Milk and milk products are the only foods derived from animals containing carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are divided into 2 groups – simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates, sometimes called simple sugars, include fructose (fruit sugar), sucrose (table sugar), and lactose (milk sugar), as well as several other sugars.

Fruits are one of the richest natural sources of simple carbohydrates.

Complex carbohydrates are also made up of sugars, but the sugar molecules are strung together to form longer, more complex chains.

Complex carbohydrates include fiber and starches.

Foods rich in complex carbohydrates include vegetables, whole grains, peas, and beans.

Newer classifications for carbohydrates are based on their glycemic indexes (GI).

This is a scoring system showing how much glucose appears in your blood after eating a carbohydrate-containing food – the higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response.

So a low GI food will cause a small rise, while a high GI food will cause a dramatic spike.

A GI of 70 or more is high, a GI of 56-69 is medium, and a GI of 55 or less is low.

Most simple carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels more than complex ones, but not always.

For example, white bread raises blood sugar more than table sugar because sugar has a lower GI.

Eating foods with high glycemic indexes can lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Simply put, adopting a low-glycemic index diet is healthier.

Low-glycemic index foods include fruits, vegetables, meats, oils, and dairy products.

Most grain-based foods, especially those highly processed, have high glycemic indexes.

Carbohydrates are the main source of blood glucose, which is a major fuel for all your body’s cells and the only source of energy for your brain and red blood cells.

Both simple and complex carbohydrates are converted into glucose.

The glucose is then either used directly to provide energy for your body or stored in your liver for future use.

If you consume more calories than your body is using, a portion of the carbohydrates consumed may be stored in your body as fat.

Due to complex chemical reactions in your brain, eating carbohydrates has a mild tranquilizing effect, and can be beneficial for people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder and/or depression.

When choosing carbohydrate-rich foods for your diet, choose unrefined foods like fruits, vegetables, peas, beans, and whole-grain products, instead of refined, processed foods like soft drinks, desserts, candy, and sugar.

Refined foods offer few, if any, of the vitamins and minerals important to your health.

Foods rich in nutrients are called nutrient-dense foods.

A healthy diet should consist mainly of these foods and avoid those that are nutrient-poor.

In addition, eating large amounts of simple carbohydrates found in refined foods, especially over a period of many years, can lead to a number of disorders, including diabetes and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Yet another problem is foods high in refined simple sugars are often also high in fats, which should be limited in a healthy diet.

This is why such foods (which include most cookies and cakes, as well as many snack foods) are usually loaded with calories.

A word is in order here regarding fiber, a very important form of carbohydrate.

Referred to in the past as “roughage,” dietary fiber is the part of a plant resistant to your body’s digestive enzymes.

As a result, only a relatively small amount of fiber is digested or metabolized in your intestines.

Instead, most of it moves through your gastrointestinal tract and ends up in your stool.

Although most fiber isn’t digested, it delivers several important health benefits.

First, fiber retains water, resulting in softer and bulkier stools preventing constipation and hemorrhoids.

A high-fiber diet also reduces the risk of colon cancer, perhaps by speeding the rate at which stool passes through your intestine and by keeping your digestive tract clean.

In addition, fiber binds with certain substances normally resulting in the production of cholesterol, and eliminates these substances from your body.

In this way, a high-fiber diet helps lower blood cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.

It’s recommended about 50-60% of your total daily calories come from carbohydrates.

If much of your diet consists of healthy complex carbohydrates, you should easily fulfill the recommended daily minimum of 25 grams of fiber.

Fiber should come primarily from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

Whole grains are better than highly processed ones because they contain more fiber.

Fiber is either soluble or insoluble.

The soluble type is broken down in your large intestine (colon).

Insoluble fiber isn’t digested and is simply excreted in your stool.

Come join me on my weight loss journey!  I’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join me on my weight loss journey here – http://bit.ly/13lxgzD


 

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