Tuesday, June 09, 2009

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We need carbohydrates

Most foods contain carbohydrates, which the body breaks down into simple sugars and all carbs will end up as sugar.

Carbohydrates require less water to digest than proteins or fats and are the most common source of energy in living things. While proteins and fat are necessary building components for body tissue and cells and are also a source of energy for most organisms.

Many starches ( complex carbohydrates) are digested more rapidly than some

sugars ( simple carbohydrates). In fact, the very term “complex carbohydrates” may be rapidly becoming obsolete, at least as it has been traditionally defined.

These are the types of carbohydrates:

Monosaccharides and Disaccharides
Monosaccharides are the simplest types of sugars, and are building blocks for the larger carbohydrate molecules. While Disaccharides are combinations of two monosaccharide molecules.

Oligosaccharides are a few monosaccharides together.

Polysaccharides (Starches or Complex Carbohydrates)
Longer chains of glucose molecules, often with many branches. Devided into 3 categories

1. Rapidly Digested Starch (RDS)
Rapidly digested starch breaks down quickly into simple sugars.

2. Slowly Digested Starch (SDS)
Slowly digested starch breaks down over a period of time in the small intestine – usually up to two hours.

3. Resistant Starch
Resistant starch actually reaches the large intestine (colon) without being broken down into sugars at all.

Adequate carbohydrate intake helps prevent protein from being used as energy. If the body doesn’t have enough carbohydrate, protein is broken down to make glucose for energy. Because the primary role of protein is as the building blocks for muscles, bone, skin, hair, and other tissues, relying on protein for energy (by failing to take in adequate carbohydrate) can limit your ability to build and maintain tissues.

Carbohydrate has other specific functions in the body including fueling the central nervous system (CNS) and brain. The brain and neurons generally cannot burn fat and need glucose for energy

Carbohydrates play extensive roles in all forms of life as energy stores, fuels, and metabolic intermediates. So don’t attempt to remove carbohydrates from your life. The low carbohydrates in low carb diets is not means to zero carbohydrates.

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