Don't avoid it, the function of carbohydrates is important for the body

Don't avoid it, the function of carbohydrates is important for the body

Now some types of diet or diet consider carbohydrates as nutrients that need to be avoided. Whereas many functions of carbohydrates for the body are needed for daily activities.

In addition to protein and fat, carbohydrates are also the main nutrients found in daily food offerings and are needed by the body. Almost all healthy eating patterns suggest including a combination of all three.

Carbohydrate Function

There are three main functions of carbohydrates that are needed by the body, namely:

Main energy source

The first function of carbohydrates is as the main energy source for the body. This energy is needed from breathing to more intense body activities, such as running. Carbohydrates are also one of the important nutrients for pregnant women. During the digestive process, carbohydrates are broken down into sugar, which is then absorbed by the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. This sugar is known as blood sugar (glucose). Assisted by insulin, sugar in the blood will enter the body's cells. If there is excess glucose, it will be stored in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. When completely unused, glucose is converted into fat.

Limiting calorie intake

The second function of carbohydrates is to limit calorie intake. How to? According to scientific evidence, the high fiber content of foods containing complex carbohydrates can prolong satiety. Compared to fat, carbohydrates also contain fewer calories. In 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories, while in 1 gram of carbohydrates there are only 4 calories.

Reduce the risk of certain diseases

Carbohydrates also serve to reduce the risk of disease. This is based on evidence from several studies on dietary fiber from whole grains which are thought to be able to reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and maintain the health of digestive organs. Sources of carbohydrates that are rich in dietary fiber include vegetables, potatoes or sweet potatoes cooked with skin, and whole grains.

Determinants of the glycemic index

The glycemic index is a benchmark that measures how quickly carbohydrates or sugars in food are absorbed into the body. The higher the glycemic index, the faster the food raises blood sugar levels. While foods with a low glycemic index are slower to digest by the body and do not make blood sugar rise quickly.

Research shows that the habit of consuming foods or drinks with a high glycemic index, such as white bread, sweet cakes, chocolate, and sugary soft drinks, can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Types and Sources of Carbohydrates

There are two types of carbohydrates, namely simple and complex. Complex carbohydrates take longer to be processed in the body than simple carbohydrates. On the bright side, complex carbohydrates will provide energy consistently, without making the body get excessive calorie intake suddenly. Complex carbohydrates are also less likely to accumulate as fat in the body.

Sugar is a simple form of carbohydrates, while flour and fiber are complex carbohydrates. Simple sugars include fructose, as well as sucrose and lactose in fruits, vegetables, milk, and dairy products.

There are several types of foods that are able to provide optimal carbohydrate function for the body. These types of foods include whole grains and breads containing these ingredients (whole grains), brown rice, brown rice, or basmati rice, whole grain pasta or cereals, nuts, vegetables, and fruits.

The recommended intake of carbohydrates is about 45-65 percent of total daily calories, or about 900-1,300 calories of a total of 2,000 calories per day. To get it, it takes a source of carbohydrates around 225-325 grams per day.

If you are low on carbohydrates, it will likely make your body lack of energy. When the body lacks calories from carbohydrates, symptoms that can be felt are dizziness, nausea, and weakness. Extreme diets that limit carbohydrate and other nutrient intake can also risk dehydrating the body.

Do not underestimate the function of carbohydrates for body health. If you want to adopt a diet that reduces carbohydrates, first consult with a nutritionist to ensure that this type of diet is suitable for your health condition.