Boca Health


Carbohydrates: Should They Be A Part Of The Diet?


Carbohydrates are widely consumed as a primary source of dietary energy, and can be classified as simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates are found in processed foods such as candy and soft drinks, or occur naturally in fruits. The refined sugars in these foods are quickly absorbed by the body and can spike blood sugar levels, negatively affecting the body. The rapid absorption of simple sugars raises insulin levels. When insulin levels are raised most of the processed carbohydrates are immediately stored as fat. So consumption of simple sugars can cause complex carbohydrates to also become fat. When looking at nutrition your proteins should be simple and your carbohydrates should be complex.

Complex carbohydrates are found in less processed or non-processed nourishing foods such as vegetables. As the name suggests, complex carbohydrates fuel the body more efficiently than simple carbohydrates and provide the body with more nutrients than simple carbs.

The body can receive all its energy from proteins and fats, therefore carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient. However, this does not mean that carbohydrates should be entirely eliminated from the diet. Recently, the Atkin’s diet eliminated all carbs from participants’ diet and as a result, the diet failed with dieters gaining their weight back.

The complex carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables are beneficial parts of a healthy and well-balanced diet. A typical diet plan established by Boca Health, LLC only eliminates the non-essential simple sugars--the simple carbohydrates that are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream.

The two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex, have different effects on our bodies once they are consumed. A simple carbohydrate is absorbed quickly; causing sugar levels to rise and trigger insulin production that may be converted into fat. Complex carbohydrates found in vegetables gradually provide a more stable source of energy, as well as supplying the fiber, vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Determining whether or not a carbohydrate is complex, healthy or unhealthy, doesn’t have to be a guessing game. There are two ranking systems for carbohydrate content in food portions, the glycemic index and the glycemic load.

The glycemic index is a numerical system of measuring how much of a rise in circulating blood sugar a carbohydrate triggers. The higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. The glycemic load is another way of measuring how fast a food is absorbed into the blood, and it tells how fast a serving size gets into your blood stream. The glycemic load is a relatively new way to assess the impact of carbohydrate consumption which takes the glycemic index into account, but gives a fuller picture than does glycemic index alone. Boca Health, LLC prefers the glycemic load since it is more efficient, accurate and simpler to use. For example, 50 grams of carbohydrates in one food may be ten servings, while in others, it may be one serving. A glycemic index of 55 is low, whereas a glycemic load of 10 is low.

A glycemic load table is a good tool to look up how foods’ glycemic loads compare. If you are curious about whether or not an apple is better than a pear, the glycemic load table will show why and how which fruit is a better option. Contact Boca Health, LLC for further information on carbohydrates and glycemic loads.

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