Types Of Carbohydrates Our Bodies Need! Do you Know Your Carbs Well?

What are different Types Of Carbohydrates

Our body needs fuel to run to function. The fuel here we are talking about is carbohydrates. With carbohydrates, the body and the brain gets most of the energy needed.

In this post we would want to tell you more about different types of carbohydrates, importance of carbohydrates in our daily meal- how it helps the body, how it helps the mind, how it helps us overall to stay healthy. Please read on and be well-informed.

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Good and Bad Carbohydrates

Different Types Of Carbohydrates

Fiber, Starch, and Sugar combines to form carbohydrates. While fiber and starch are complex carbs, sugar is a simple carb, and our body needs all the three types of carbohydrates. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Simple Carbohydrates

  • Simple carbohydrates, also known as sugars are consumed almost every day in the form of fruits, milk and vegetables. It gives the food a sweet taste.
  • In medical science, glucose is known to be the simplest form of simple carbs.
  • Sugar is categorized into:
  1. Monosaccharaides – glucose, fructose and galactose
  2. Disaccharides – sucrose, lactose and maltose
  • Sugars provide only energy and no nutrition.

Simple Carbohydrates

2. Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbs are found in starches, and are also called polysaccharides and take a long time to break down as they are comprised of longer saccharide chains.

Complex carbs are found in whole grain foods and starchy vegetables and are usually suggested by dieticians to people who aim at losing weight.

Complex carbohydrates

3. Complex Fibrous Carbohydrates

Complex fibrous carbohydrates are found in many veggies.

They also have a lot of phytochemicals, minerals and vitamins in them, along with high nutrient value.

Power houses of fibre too, complex fibrous carbs help with colon cleansing since they aren’t absorbed by the digestive tract.

The calorie level with such foods is very low, which means you wouldn’t put on unhealthy weight when you eat them in moderation.

Complex fibrous carbohydrates

Let’s check on the importance or the functions of carbohydrates.

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How are Carbohydrates Digested

While you enjoy your daily three meals, the carb amount from the meals you eat are digested.

  • The enzymes in the body break the meal down into very small units – sugars.
  • These sugars are taken out of the digestive system and into your bloodstream. This is blood sugar which your doctors ask you to control.
  • Also known as glucose in the bloodstream, it is this glucose that energizes the body, the tissues and the muscles.

This important process works round the clock and is important for our bodies, or else the system would break down overtime.

Functions of Carbohydrates

What Happens With Lack Of Carbohydrates – Symptoms

With carbohydrate deficiency, there are many things that would happen to the body. Most people avoid carbohydrates mainly because of the fear of gaining weight. However, skipping carbohydrates can lead to several health issues.

Carbohydrate as fuel

Hypoglycemia – When you don’t consumes enough carbohydrates, the body’s glucose levels drop drastically, leading to tiredness, weakness, light-headedness, confusion and hunger.

Ketosis – When you consume less than 130 grams of carbohydrates, the stored fat is broken down into ketones, leading to mental fatigue, bad breath, nausea and a headache, and in severe cases of ketosis, it can lead to painful swelling of the joints and kidney stones.

Weight gain – Restricting a carbohydrate diet can actually do more damage than good. When the body doesn’t get its share of carbs, you tend to feel sever hunger pangs, thus reaching out for fattening food, which in turn leads to weight gain over time.

Carbohydrate for health

Other symptoms are:

  • Confusion
  • Tremor
  • Feverishness
  • Giddiness
  • Fatigue
  • Distress
  • Delirium
  • Muscles atrophy
  • Muscle tissue loss
  • Acidosis
  • Low energy levels
  • Muscle waste
  • Loss of weight unhealthily
  • Dehydration
  • Weakening of the immune system
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings

Now that we know what are the causes and symptoms of carbohydrate deficiency, let’s be aware of how important it is to have carbohydrates in the body. But first, we shall introduce you to a range or types of carbohydrates available around.

Follow This Thumb Rule

With carbohydrate intake, here is a thumb rule you need to follow;

  1. Brown is good – whole wheat breads for example or sweet potatoes. You can have brown rice too
  2. White is not good – white breads, white potatoes and pasta and even rice, are not advisable to eat

Carbohydrate as food

List of Foods Rich In Carbohydrates

Here is a list of foods high in carbohydrates, fruits, veggies, meats and seafood which have high and low carbohydrate levels to help you understand what you should be eating to moderate the carbohydrate intake.

Different Types of Food rich in carbohydrates

1. Fruits Rich in Carbohydrates

Fruit Quantity Total Carbohydrate
Apples 100 Gram 14 g
Pears 100 Gram 15 g
Bananas 100 Gram 23 g
Grapes 100 Gram 17 g
Dates 100 Gram 75 g
Almonds 100 Gram 22 g
Raisins 100 Gram 79 g

Fruits

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Fruits With Low Carbohydrates

Fruit Quantity Total Carbohydrate
Cantaloupe 100 Gram 8 g
Avocados 100 Gram 9 g
Strawberries 100 Gram 8 g
Watermelon 100 Gram 8 g
Peaches 100 Gram 10 g
Honeydew 100 Gram 9 g
  1. Cantaloupe: This fruit is a beta-carotene that is rich in potassium and Vitamin A. Its carbohydrate content is 8g for every 100g of the fruit.
  2. Avocados: The wonder fruit which imparts a whole lot of vitamins and nutrients has found its way into everyone’s diet. Its carbohydrate content is at 9g per every 100g of an avocado.
  3. Strawberries: These fruits are used at any step and every step of a meal, raw ones, pressed ones or dried ones are all worth a day of Vitamin C. The carbohydrate content for every 100g is at 8g for strawberries.
  4. Watermelon: The most loved fruit of the summers, has to watch its serving size to enjoy it on a low carb diet. At 8g stands the carbohydrate content for this fruit per 100g.
  5. Peaches: Good nutrition and antioxidants is what peaches are all about. Their carbohydrate content is 10g per every 100g of the fruit.
  6. Honeydew: This low carbohydrate fruit is packed with good things and can lower the blood pressure as well as risk of a stroke. Its carbohydrate content is at 9g for every 100g of the fruit.

Fruits with Low carbohydrates

2. Vegetables With High Carbohydrates

Thumb rule here, if there is a lot of starch in the food, you should avoid it! Thus, foods with high fibrous starch carbohydrates would be

Vegetables Quantity Total Carbohydrate
Potatoes 100 Gram 17 g
Peas 100 Gram 14 g
Beans 100 Gram 63 g
Corn 100 Gram 74 g
Yams 100 Gram 14 g
  • Potatoes: The most sought after fruit to make all your delicious snacks is sure on the higher radar of the carbohydrate count with 17g per every 100g of the vegetable.
  • Peas: Peas are full of fiber giving strength to the meal, although their carbohydrate content stands at 14g per every 100g.
  • Beans: Beans are used as a vegetarian protein source and also have a whopping 63g of carbohydrates for every 100g of beans.
  • Corn: Corn provides energy in the form of natural sugars and complex starches. Its carbohydrates content is 74g for every 100g of the vegetable.
  • Yams: These vegetables are similar to the potatoes, but is at a much higher carbohydrate count than the potatoes at 28g per 100g.
  • Legumes: Legumes are a mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats at a perfect mix. Their carbohydrate count is 14g for every 100g.

Potato

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Vegetables With Low Carbohydrates

Vegetables Quantity Total Carbohydrate
Bell Peppers 100 Gram 4.6 g
Asparagus 100 Gram 3.9 g
Zucchini 100 Gram 3.1 g
Mushrooms 100 Gram 3.3 g
Avocados 100 Gram 9 g
Broccoli 100 Gram 7 g
Cauliflower 100 Gram 5 g
  • Avocados: The wonder fruit which imparts a whole lot of vitamins and nutrients has found its way into everyone’s diet. Its carbohydrate content is at 9g per every 100g of an avocado.
  • Bell Peppers: Bell peppers have become seemingly popular for their taste and attractive due to the presentation it adds to food. Their carbohydrate being at 4.6g for every 100g.
  • Asparagus: Asparagus is considered as a highly safe vegetable to incorporate into low-carb diets. Its carbohydrate count is at 3.9g for every 100g.
  • Zucchini: A low carb lifestyle starts and ends with Zucchini providing healthy food options. Its carbohydrate content is 3.1g for every 100g of the vegetable.
  • Spinach: Greens are always considered the healthy kind, and topping the greens list is spinach. Its carbohydrate content is 3.6g for every 100g of the leafy vegetable.
  • Mushrooms: The comfort food for every vegetarian and non vegetarian lies here. Mushrooms have a carbohydrate content of 3.3g per every 100g.
  • Broccoli: Broccoli has always come with the ‘good’ tag, and ofcourse it is. With a carbohydrate content of 7g for every 100g.
  • Cauliflower: Most of the carbs in cauliflowers are fiber. Its carbohydrate count stands at 5g for every 100g of the vegetable.

Vegetables with Low carbohydrates

3. Meat & Sea Food With Carbohydrates

In contrast with fruits and vegetables, meats and sea food 0g per 100 g carbohydrates.

Did You Know?

  1. Our body cells are in a billion range and they all use simple carbohydrate glucose, which is energy for the body or the prime energy source for the body.
  2. The same glucose is the reason why our brains work round the clock when we are awake- helps fuel the brain too.
  3. Brain fog happens when the amount of carb intake isn’t sufficiently consumed..
  4. Moreover, proteins in the body aren’t easily digested. Hence, carbs help neutralise the same without allowing it to completely break down.
  5. Fat metabolism has to happen or else we would gather unhealthy weight. Carbohydrates can help you with that, and provides the body with the fuel burnt from the fat.

We hope this mini guide on the understanding of carbohydrates comes in handy for your daily eating and lifestyle?

Disclaimer: This post on carbohydrates is purely for information purposes and doesn’t precede what an expert nutritionist, dietician or your family doctor would advise upon. Please remember, your specialists words would be highly regarded over your personal health and diet, over what is written here and elsewhere on the net.

Stay healthy and happy!

Images Source: Pinterest

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2 Comments

  1. Makayla

    June 29, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    why can low-carb diets be harmful to your body

    • Mansi Kohli

      July 3, 2017 at 12:29 pm

      As you lose carbohydrates everyday, even your metabolism rates drop by a significant amount. The carbohydrate intake might not be enough for a physically active person on a daily basis.

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