Macronutrients and Your Body Composition
You might have often heard bodybuilders and fitness experts commenting on the importance of macronutrients. Macronutrients play a significant role in ensuring that you get your desired results. When you find a macronutrient balance when incorporating these foods into your diet that should take you closer to your goal.
Among the three primary macronutrients, including fat, carbohydrates, and proteins, one that is considered least popular in the fitness world is carbohydrates or carbs, as some might call it. This can be attributed to the fact that most comfort food items associated with weight gain are enriched with carbs. However, what few people seem to realize is that not all carbs are the same, and different types of carbohydrates have varying impacts on our bodies.
Various types of carbohydrates
Different food items have varying kinds of carbs. These carbs are named according to their structure like simple and complex carbohydrates. There is another variant called refined carbohydrates as well. It is vital to know how carbs are processed by the body so that you can use them to reach your goals effectively.
Examples of simple carbs include table sugar and white flour, among others. These are made from one or two sugar molecules. Simple carbohydrates are often referred to as bad carbs. However, the truth is that they are capable of providing you quite a lot of benefits as well. Fruits are a source of simple carbs as well, but they are also enriched with vitamins and minerals.
Simple carbs are a quick source of energy, which is they are used by athletes before a game or training session. The rush of energy is beneficial for them during the game. Simple carbs also increase blood sugar levels, which can be detrimental at times if proper monitoring is not ensured. This is because once this source of energy is depleted, glucose levels in the body get low, which can lead to the body crashing down.
Simple carbs do not have much nutritional value. They do not satisfy your appetite for long, and thus, you tend to feel hungry after a short while. They are also high in calories. Therefore, it is advisable to restrict the intake of simple carbs in your diet.
Refined carbs are made when the molecular structure of simple carbs is changed. This changed structure makes sure that the food items last longer, which in turn makes mass production feasible.
Refined carbs are not suitable for your health as they increase the risk of diabetes and weight gain. They can also lead to cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, they tend to be addictive as you are tempted to start your day with a donut and end with white bread during dinner.
Complex carbohydrates contain sugar molecules tied in a chain. Vegetables, unprocessed plant-based foods are some sources of complex carbs. These carbs are broken into fiber and starch and then processed by the body.
The process of digestion commences in the mouth, wherein saliva is mixed with the carbs. Amylase, a digestive enzyme in saliva, turns complex carbs into the simple carb, maltose. Maltose continues its journey through the digestive tract until it is broken down into glucose by the digestive enzymes. Finally, glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream.
Glucose is then used for energy, but the process is slower compared to the processing of simple carbs. The blood sugar levels increase slowly as a result of which insulin is produced by the pancreas. Thus, sugar is stored in the body as a source of energy to be used when the need arises.
The fiber present in complex carbs travels in the digestive system. It enhances the absorption of nutrients in intestines and also increases the speed of digestion, paving the way for a healthy digestive system.
Since complex carbs are digested slowly, they ensure that you remain full for a longer duration and get sustainable energy. These carbs are also enriched with minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Therefore, you can incorporate complex carbohydrates in your diet without any fear.
It is crucial to understand that all carbs should not be viewed as the enemy for the body. According to studies, a significant part of calories is derived from carbohydrates in people of all ages. It is up to you to decide how you incorporate carbs into your diet. You can get the required calories from complex carbohydrates and get a balanced diet while achieving your body goals at the same time.
The misconception that seems to have acquired immense popularity is that all carbs are bad. It is the processed food items that contain refined carbs that you need to stay clear of. They prevent weight loss and are not suitable for your health. However, complex carbohydrates cannot be grouped with them since the latter have ample benefits to offer. Thus, you need to make sure that you opt for the right type of carbohydrate in your diet, which would not impact your body composition negatively.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to a balanced diet. It is vital to strike a balance in the macronutrients profile. You can increase or decrease the concentration of macronutrients compared to others depending on your goals, but maintaining a balance is crucial. You will need to consume carbs, even if you are on low-carb diets. The only thing you need to make sure is that you make complex carbohydrates a part of your diet so that your weight loss goals are not hindered.
Finally, whether carbohydrates are good for your body or bad depends on the type you consume. If your diet constitutes simple and refined carbs, you will never be able to lose weight irrespective of how hard you try. On the other hand, a diet containing complex carbs can take you closer to your goals and will also be good for your health overall.