HEALTHY MEAL PLAN – WHAT ARE CARBOHYDRATES?
Carbohydrates are classified as sugars, starches and fibre. There are two types of sugars: simple sugars (monosaccharides) and complex sugars (disaccharides). Simple sugars are easily digested while complex sugars have to be broken down into simple sugars before digestion. An example of simple sugar are glucose or fructose which both can be found in fruit, vegetables and honey. Complex sugars like lactose can be found in milk and sucrose in table sugar or other commercial products.
1. Main source of energy
Carbohydrates are your main source of energy, a quick energy. Energy is released when carbohydrates are combined with oxygen. Therefore it is so important to breathe during exercise and not hold your breath. If you consume too much sugar it will be stored in your liver as glycogen and can be released quickly (the quick energy). The excess amount of sugar which can’t be stored in the liver will be converted into fat and stored under your skin (cellulite).
Starch is a polysaccharide and is made from glucose molecules. Starch can be found in rice, grains, potatoes, wheat, oats or rye. Starch is important for people suffering from diabetes as it doesn’t change blood sugars level dramatically.
3. GI Index (Glycaemic index)
Different foods affect blood sugar levels in different ways. Quickly absorbed foods affect blood sugar levels more dramatically while slowly absorbed foods raise blood sugar levels only a little. GI index (1 to 100) indicates what effect food has on the blood sugar level. High GI foods will raise blood sugar level rapidly and low GI foods won’t. High GI can be found in raisins, white rice or honey. Medium GI can be found in grapes, porridge or carrots. Low GI foods are apples, wholemeal pasta, milk or beans. In a balanced diet it is good to have a combination of different GI foods.
So if you need a quick fix at work (usually at 3-4pm) instead of a cup of tea and digestives have some grapes or raisins in dark chocolate! This will quickly put you back on track, I promise! Try it and let me know in a comment below.
Read how to burn fat and reduce cellulite.
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