There are basically four types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch, fiber, and glycogen. All carbohydrates except fiber are used to produce energy in your cells. Remember the two reasons for eating are energy and materials to build your body with. Carbohydrates are only used for energy. All carbohydrates are made of molecules of sugar.When carbs are digested they enter the body as molecules of sugar. So, with the exception of fiber, which is not digested but is very important, when you eat carbohydrates you are eating sugar. Many people would conclude from that statement “Sugar is bad, therefore all carbs are bad. Don’t ever eat them. End of story.” It’s not that simple. We need sugar for energy. At rest about half of our energy comes from sugar and when we are active most of our energy comes from sugar. Furthermore, the only thing your brain will use for energy is glucose. We need about half of our calories to come from carbohydrates, more if you are active. Not all carbs are created equal so we need to pick our sources of carbohydrates carefully. I will examine the different types of carbohydrates and their effects on your health as well as make recommendations as to amounts to eat in the upcoming posts.
The bottom line take away is: You need carbohydrates to live and about half of your calories should come from them. However, the type of carbohydrates is very important.
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