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What is Carbohydrates?



Whenever weight is mentioned the first reaction is total elimination of carbohydrates which is utterly misinterpreted. If you are someone who has realized the need for losing weight then we suggest you read this article on how carbohydrates affect weight before you make any drastic changes to your dietary plan.

Carbohydrates are one of the essential nutrients required by our body. The key to healthy living and weight loss is keeping a check on the calories that you eat rather than removing any particular nutrition based food. Once you become aware of how carbohydrates affect weight you can count your blessings for having found the right answer to weight loss. When your body lacks in carbohydrate supply there are immediate reactions.

Role of Carbohydrates In Weight Loss:

Your body is incapable of burning fat faster in the event of lack of carbohydrates which slows down your weight loss functions. Usually a combination of carbohydrates and fats are used as sources of energy. When your body is refrained from supply of carbohydrates it results in incomplete breakdown of fats and production of ketones causing ketosis. Ketosis reduces your appetite and the lack of energy will result in accumulation of ketones which can manifest in forms of headaches, dizziness, nausea and fatigue.

Due to a low carbohydrate diet you will not have the energy to exercise and maintain the fitness of your body which means you cannot burn the extra fat as effectively as it would have burnt if sufficient amount of carbohydrate was present. There is also another way how carbohydrates affect weight. Carbohydrates are classified into simple and complex carbohydrates. When you include complex carbohydrates in your diet like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes etc they are fibrous and release glucose that gets absorbed gradually.

As a result you feel full and do not overeat. So the portion you eat is limited but with all the nutrition. This means that you do not feel hungry often and it prevents you from eating more than required. On the other hand the simple carbohydrates like sugars, candies and processed foods are refined forms where the protective fiber is removed and this causes the insulin levels to rise which tend to make you feel hungry and you seek the high energy foods that are rich in calories.

It is very vital to know how carbohydrates affect weight and implementing a plan thereafter where your body receives the right amount of carbohydrates and also ensuring non storage of excessive fat is the right way to weight loss.

What Carbohydrates Are:

Carbohydrates are naturally occurring compounds that consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and are produced by green plants in the process of undergoing photosynthesis. In simple terms, photosynthesis is the biological conversion of light energy (that is, electromagnetic energy) from the Sun to chemical energy in plants. It is an extremely complex process, and a thorough treatment of it involves a great deal of technical terminology. Although we discuss the fundamentals of photosynthesis later in this essay, we do so only in the most cursory fashion.

Photosynthesis involves the conversion of carbon dioxide and water to sugars, which, along with starches and cellulose, are some of the more well known varieties of carbohydrate. Sugars can be defined as any of a number of water-soluble compounds, of varying sweetness. (What we think of as sugarthat is, table sugaris actually sucrose, discussed later.) Starches are complex carbohydrates without taste or odor, which are granular or powdery in physical form. Cellulose is a polysaccharide, made from units of glucose, that constitutes the principal part of the cell walls of plants and is found naturally in fibrous materials, such as cotton. Commercially, it is a raw material for such manufactured goods as paper, cellophane, and rayon.

Why You Can Eat More Carbohydrates Than Proteins?

One of the biggest problems with starches is that the body can consume so many of them compared with proteins and fats. How many times have you eaten a huge plate of mashed potatoes or rice, mountains of fries, or piece after piece of bread? All of us have done it: with carbohydrates, and particularly starches, it seems we can never get enough. But how many times have you eaten a huge plate of nothing but chicken, steak, or eggs? Probably not very often, and if you have tried to eat too much of these protein-heavy foods at one time, you most likely started to get sick.

The reason is that when you eat protein or fat, it triggers the release of a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) in the small intestine. CCK tells the brain, in effect, that the body is getting fed, and if enough CCK is released, it signals the brain that the body has received enough food. If one continues to consume proteins or fats beyond that point, nausea is likely to follow. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, do not cause a release of CCK; only when they enter the bloodstream do they finally send a signal to the brain that the body is satisfied. By then, most of us have piled on more mashed potatoes, which are destined to take their place in the body as fat stores.

The Carbohydrate Content of Vegetables:

In terms of edible carbohydrate content, the artichoke has a low percentage. A few vegetables have a smaller percentage of carbohydrates, whereas others have vastly higher percentages, as the list shown here illustrates. In general, it seems that the carbohydrate content of vegetables (and in each of these cases we are talking about edible carbohydrates, not cellulose) is in the range of about 5-10%, somewhere around 20%, or a very high 60-80%. There does not seem to be a great deal of variation in these ranges.

Water, Protein, and Carbohydrate Content of Selected Vegetables:

Artichoke: 85% water, 2.9% protein, 10.6% carbohydrate Beets, red: 87.3% water, 1.6% protein, 9.9% carbohydrate Celery: 94.1% water, 0.9% protein, 3.9% carbohydrate Corn: 13.8% water, 8.9% protein, 72.2% carbohydrate Lima bean: 10.3% water, 20.4% protein, 64% carbohydrate Potato: 79.8% water, 2.1% protein, 17.1% carbohydrate Red pepper: 74.3% water, 3.7% protein, 18.8% carbohydrate Summer squash: 94% water, 1.1% protein, 4.2% carbohydrate

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