Carbohydrates are needed for proper body function. They are the main source of fuel used foe energy in a person’s diet. As carbohydrates are introduced into the body, the body breaks them down into sugars that are then used as food for cells in the body such as the muscles and other organs, including the heart. While the emphasis in diet trends over the last few years has focused on a low carbohydrate intake, how the body processes carbohydrates in relation to blood sugar levels and weight gain would be better approached by looking at the type of carbohydrates in the diet as well as their amounts.
There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates process into sugars very quickly as well as having very little nutritional benefits. One example is fructose. Fructose, usually eaten in the form of processed grains or sweetener, rapidly floods the blood with sugars that are above and beyond the processing ability of insulin in the system. Excess sugars are instead stored in the body as fat, and the binge leaves the body with too much too fast, with complete absence nutrition in its wake.
Complex carbohydrates on the other hand go through a more gradual and balanced processing, are usually part of foods with the added vitamins and minerals that provide the body with much needed nutritional support, and provide the body with needed energy at a more reasonable level over a longer period of time. Whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables often are great sources of complex carbohydrates, though some fruits do contain sucrose and fructose in higher levels than vegetables and whole grains.
This is the very reason that it is easier for a person with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels with complex carbohydrates than with simple carbs. With society pushing for faster and faster food on the go, and the emphasis on cheap production in large quantity the norm in commercial food production, the amount of processed foods and simple carbohydrates consumed by the general population, and intake of complex carbs and other nutritional food on the decrease. Many diseases that top the charts for fatality every year could be significantly decreased if this trend could be reversed, even if the amount of food consumed did not change. The absence of nutrients in our diet, combined with forcing our bodies to respond to the rollercoaster of chemical reactions involved in digesting the unhealthy food we do eat has created an environment prone to imbalance and extremes. Carbohydrates are our friends, and we have turned them into our enemy.