Carbohydrates are one of the organic elements which, with high consumption, make you fat. However, the consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates is strongly recommended, especially for athletes who practice intense regular activities and who must compensate for these activities with a good diet to develop muscles and support the efforts made. How then to control these carbohydrates to avoid putting on weight? This article gives just an answer to that.
By scientific definition, carbohydrate is a class of organic compounds. We can distinguish two types of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates include glucose, fructose and galactose which in turn can form sucrose (= table sugar), lactose or maltose. Complex carbohydrates include starch, glycogen, and fiber.
Carbohydrates are the preferred energy substrates for cells. They are stored in the body as glycogen, and are found in greater amounts in sugary foods, starches and fruits.
An overconsumption of simple carbohydrates leads to weight gain, and more seriously to obesity. It can also lead to dental caries, and makes the bed of overload pathologies such as type II diabetes or diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, because excess carbohydrates are converted into lipids by the body. An overconsumption of complex carbohydrates can also lead to weight gain and digestive problems such as heaviness, pain or constipation.
On the contrary, deficiencies in simple carbohydrates or complex carbohydrates can most often lead to hypoglycemia: a drop in blood sugar concentration. This is manifested by many and varied symptoms: malaise with or without loss of consciousness, fatigue, dizziness, sweating, tremors, headaches, palpitations, neurological signs suggesting brain damage.
Deficiencies in simple carbohydrates also appear in the event of pancreatic or hepatic pathologies, tumors (insulinoma), or when taking hypoglycemic drugs (by mouth or by injection).
Find in this Guide all the essential information to know about nutrition (nutrients, superfoods, GI …) to achieve your goal of lean or mass gain!
HOW TO CONTROL CARBOHYDRATES?
Here is an example of a list of carbohydrates that can be found on a typical consumption day for people who do not control carbohydrates:
- Breakfast: bread, jam, spread, sandwich bread, cereals, cakes, fruit juice.
- Noon: bread, sauces, starches, soda or fruit juice, sweet yogurt
- Snack: cereal bar, cake, fruit
- Dinner: bread, starch, dessert.
Most people adopt this diet to avoid fat, and believe that this way of eating is more effective in preventing weight gain. However, this is a misconception, transmitted by industry, and also taught by some health professionals until now.
It is obviously not wrong that excessive fat is not good, because it is then converted into fatty tissue in the body. However, consuming too much sugar also has the same effect.
In order to control the amount of carbohydrates in the body, there is what is called the Low Carb diet. The Low Carb Diet is a fat loss, weight maintenance or awareness diet. This type of diet is used in bodybuilding to maintain shape and figure.
Currently, most people eat too many carbohydrates but do little physical activity.
Indeed, rare are the individuals who play sports, who have a physical job and who get around on foot or by bicycle. Most prefer to travel by car and rarely get up from their chairs during office hours.
To lose calories, the easiest way is to walk, or to practice any other regular physical activity: dancing, aerobics …
WHAT ARE CARBOHYDRATES USED FOR?
Carbohydrates have 3 main roles, which are not necessarily important for the functioning of the body.
- The body turns on glucose. But if we are alive today, it is because it is possible to find it elsewhere than in starches, cakes and cereals.
- A healthy body only stores around 2000Kcal of carbohydrate in the form of glycogen in the body (muscles and liver) and 70,000Kcal of lipids in adipose tissue and muscles. These 70,000Kcal do not come mainly from the fats consumed but from periodic excess calories.
- Carbohydrates are used in particular for intense efforts, and less for endurance efforts. Without physical activity, it is not necessary to consume a large amount of carbohydrate.
To conclude, it should be remembered that carbohydrates are not to be removed, but to be controlled. For a person who is not physically active, eating too many carbohydrates can make you fat. Conversely, for an athlete, carbohydrate is to be consumed but also to be moderated through various foods and diets.