Know the Benefits of Carbohydrates, Types and Risks

Know the Benefits of Carbohydrates, Types and Risks

Glucose or sugar that is processed from carbohydrates serves as fuel that will be used by the body. The main benefit of carbohydrates is as a source of energy for the body in carrying out various functions, as well as to perform various activities every day.

Carbohydrates can be divided into two types, namely simple and complex. These two types of carbohydrates have differences in their chemical structure. In general, simple carbohydrates contain only basic sugars that are easily digested and absorbed by the body. Meanwhile, complex carbohydrates have a longer sugar chain, so it takes a long time to digest and absorb these types of carbohydrates. Natural sources of carbohydrates that are easy to find, namely in the form of grains, seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and milk.

Types of Carbohydrates

There are three macronutrients, namely nutrients that are both found in some of the foods we consume. One of the three macronutrients is carbohydrates. The other two macronutrients are fat and protein.

There are three types of carbohydrates, namely:


Starch is a carbohydrate found in foods of plant origin. For example, whole grains, vegetables, and nuts. Starchy foods, such as pasta and bread, also include starch.


Fiber is also found in foods of plant origin. Whole grain breads, nuts, and some vegetables eaten with the skin on are good sources of fiber.


Not all carbohydrates are sugars, but all sugars are carbohydrates. Sugar can be obtained naturally from a variety of foods, such as sugarcane juice. The sugar in fruit is called fructose, the sugar in milk is called lactose, and the sugar in sugar is called sucrose. In the process of making cakes, chocolates, and candies, sucrose is usually added as a sweetener.

Benefits of Carbohydrates for the Body

Carbohydrates are a source of energy for the body. When you eat carbohydrates, the body converts them into glucose, which is the body's main fuel. The body needs carbohydrates because these substances have some of the most important benefits, including:

Energy sources

When you breathe, move, walk, think, or do other activities such as exercising, your body needs energy. This energy is obtained from digested carbohydrates and processed into glucose through the process of glycolysis. After that, insulin will help glucose absorbed by the body's cells. This is where the body gets its energy.

Meets calorie needs in a healthy way

In meeting caloric needs, you must pay attention to the portion you eat so as not to overeat to make the body excess calories. Calories coming from a number of carbohydrates are less than fat with the same amount of weight. Your body's calorie consumption will be better if the carbohydrate source you choose has a high fiber content, such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and beans. 45-65 percent of the recommended body calories come from carbohydrates.

Reduce the risk of disease

The benefits of consuming carbohydrates sourced from nuts and vegetables, can reduce the risk of disease. The fiber in these carbohydrates can reduce the risk of constipation. Bowel health can also improve thanks to the benefits of carbohydrates. In fact, studies have shown that certain types of fiber can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, although not fully proven, several studies show a reduced risk of obesity and diabetes by eating whole grains and high-fiber carbohydrates.

Don't Lack or Excess Carbohydrates

Each person's daily carbohydrate needs are different. This depends on age, gender, physical activity undertaken, and also certain medical conditions. But in general, healthy adults need around 220-300 grams of carbohydrates per day. For those who want to maintain weight, the recommended carbohydrate intake is around 50-150 grams per day.

Women younger than 50 need 25 grams of fiber per day, while women over 50 need 21 grams of fiber per day. Meanwhile, men aged less than 50 years need 38 grams of fiber per day and men over 50 years need 30 grams per day.

Sugar produced from carbohydrates will be stored in the form of fat in the body if not used immediately. Therefore, consuming excessive carbohydrates means that you accumulate more fat in the body. This can increase the risk of various diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Conversely, a lack of carbohydrates is also not good for the body. When there is a lack of carbohydrates, the body will be weak and take protein and fat for energy. The process of breaking down fat to be used as energy can cause a buildup of ketones in the blood. If allowed to continue, can cause ketosis. Ketosis can cause dizziness, weakness, nausea and dehydration. Lack of carbohydrates risks making you lack of other nutrients that are important for body functions.

Stay wise in choosing the type and managing the portion of carbohydrates, in order to get the benefits of carbohydrates that are suitable for the needs of the body.