Carbohydrates – Friend or Foe?
Updated: a day ago
Consuming lower amounts of carbohydrates in your meals means you will fatigue quicker and be unable to sustain exercises for vigorous or sustained amounts of time. Focusing on nutrient-dense or complex carbohydrates is vital for optimum performance and sustainable weight loss. Carbohydrate foods and fluids that are rich in sources of other macro and micro-nutrients, including protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, such as wholegrain bread and cereals, grains, starchy vegetables, legumes and low-fat dairy products, should be consumed in higher amounts. Nutrient poor or simple carbohydrates, such as soft drinks, energy drinks, lollies and sweets, sports drinks and cordial and foods and fluids that contain refined sugars that may provide kilo-joules, but may lack the vitamins, minerals and fibre, and could potential leave you hungry for more. High-fat carbohydrates, such as pastries, cakes, banana bread, chips (fried and packet) and chocolate may contain refined starches that could potentially raise blood sugar levels causing an insulin spike and detrimental to weight loss and vital organs.
When carbohydrates are broken down in the digestive system, they produce the main source of fuel: glucose. Complex carbohydrates take longer to break down and are converted into glucose over a longer period of time. Carbohydrates are an important macro-nutrient in nutrition, but your main sources of carbohydrates should come from vegetables. There may be some healthier alternatives to certain simple carbohydrates, but it is still important to consume them in moderation.
Carbohydrates, from a macro-nutrient perspective, equals 16 kilo-joules, or 4 calories, per gram.
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