Understanding Carbohydrates




They are one of 3 types of food that give your body energy. The other two are proteins and fats. Together they provide the fuel your body requires to build and repair itself.



Your body runs on glucose. Your brain in particular needs it to work the way it should.


Experts recommend fueling up 1 to 3 hours before you workout with a combo of carbs and protein, like oatmeal, greek yogurt, peanut butter or nuts and raisins.


The best quality carbs - berries, vegetables and whole grains are packed with vitamins, fibre and antioxidants that are important for good health.

Simple carbs: Table sugar is simple carbs in pure form, small molecules your body can break down and use, hence raising glucose levels really fast.
Complex carbs: string together a bunch of simple carbs and you get larger molecules. The body first breaks these down into simple carbs and then glucose before it can use them. This takes longer and less likely to change into fat. Multigrain, bread, pasta, beans, potatoes and other veggies.

Before your body turns leftover glucose from carbs into fat it stores what it can in your liver in the form of glycogen. This keeps your body going between meals. But the liver can only store a day or so’s worth a time.


Overdo the carbs and blood sugar levels go too high. Causing body to make more insulin, which tells the cells to save extra glucose as fat. Lead to diabetes and other health issues.


However, if there isn’t enough carbs in your diet, you could get constipated from lack of fibre and nutrients. Your body is forced to use protein or fat for energy. Protein are the building blocks if you use them for fuel then you won’t have enough to make more cells and keep healthy.

The amount of carbs required depends on your gender, size and how active your are - that changes as you get older. As a general rule half your daily calories should come from carbs in fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and dairy products. Just keep away from simple carbs.



Healthy carbs: unrefined whole grains like quinoa, rye, barley instead of white bread and pastries.  Pass on, high carb potato foods, especially French fries in favour of beans, chickpeas and other legumes. Eat fruits and vegetables.


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