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Carbohydrate Clarity

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Inform yourself with the straight-to-the-point, low down on carbohydrates!

<- Subway's 19 carb turkey wrap

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates, pronounced (car-bo-hi-drayts) are sugars that provide the body with energy. Your body can break carbohydrates down quickly and efficiently.

Carbohydrate rich foods in their natural state are low in calories and high in fiber. Carbohydrates contain about 4 calories per gram. Fat contains about 9 calories per gram. Carbohydrates are found in breads, pastas, candy, sodas, wines, beer, fruits.

Carbohydrates are divided into 2 groups: simple and complex:

Simple carbohydrates are also called simple sugars. Simple carbohydrates include: fructose (fruit sugar), sucrose (table sugar) and lactose (milk sugar), as well as several other sugars. Simple carbohydrates are great sources of quick energy.

Complex carbohydrates include fiber and starches. They can be found in vegetables, bread, rice, oatmeal, whole grains, peas and beans. Complex carbohydrates take longer to be digested, so your body needs more time to release these carbs into your blood as glucose

What does the body use carbohydrates for?

The main function of carbohydrates is to provide your body with energy. Carbohydrates usually provide about half of your body's energy when you’re resting or performing a low-level activity.

Why do we need carbohydrates?

When carbohydrates are in our body, they are being broken down and used as energy. When the body doesn't need to use the carbohydrates for energy, it stores them into the liver and muscles. When carbohydrates are stored in your liver and muscles, it is called glycogen. You need glycogen for all of the every day things that you do since they fuel the body with energy. Conversely, when the liver and muscles cells cannot store anymore glycogen, it is turned into fat.

When your body needs a quick boost of energy, it converts glycogen into energy. When it needs a prolonged burst of energy, it converts fat to energy.

Short version: Carbs are stored when they are not used for energy-- if not used as glycogen, excess carbs turn to fat.

Never make the mistaken assumption that your body does not need carbohydrates; that is completely untrue! It is recommended that 50 to 60 percent of our daily calories come from carbohydrates, with an emphasis being placed on complex carbohydrates.

Why does cutting carbs help you lose weight?

Carbs are stored when they are not used for energy. If carbohydrates are not used as glycogen (energy fuel), the excess carbs turn to fat. Therefore, the fewer carbs that you eat (within reason) the less your body has to store as fat. Keep in mind that fat can be turned into energy if you exercise.

What are some examples of low carb meals?

1. Lemon-Pepper Chicken, Cheesy Broccoli w/ Bacon, Green Beans, iced teas or low sugar drink.

2. Fish, salad, vegetables, red grapes, lite beer.

3. Grilled chicken Caesar salad with croutons, slice of low carb bread (you toast it with garlic and butter) available at grocery stores. Diet Snapple.

4. Sausage and tomatoes omelet, milk.

What are some examples of meals that are high in carbs?

1. Raviolis, garlic bread, Coke.

2. Baked potato with cheese, rice, kool aid.

3. Fettuccini Alfredo with lots of sauce, biscuit and fruit salad. Non-lite beer.

4. Pancakes and hashbrowns.



 
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I think this is the most awesome, concise list about carbs! Thanks so much for posting this, Calif!

Oh, the agony of no pasta...Argggghh! LOL


 
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Originally Posted by Kage_sCupotea I think this is the most awesome, concise list about carbs! Thanks so much for posting this, Calif!
Oh, the agony of no pasta...Argggghh! LOL


YW! Thanks for replying. It's nice to know someone cares too!! Thank YOU!


 
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I went on the South Beach diet some time ago, and I literally became ill. There are 3 phases and the first phase is totally NO carbs. I will tell you that I did lose wieght but I was weak and frail. Would not recommend it. What I do now is just watch my carb intake, I will not have bread and pasta, I will pick just one. I believe it helps.

 
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Originally Posted by beautygirl I get so frustrated with all this low-carb talk and how everyone buys into it. The idea of cutting out processed carbohydrates like white bread, chips, cookies, cakes, candy, etc. totally makes sense. But fruits and veggies and whole grains, and beans are all extremely healthy carbohydrates that we should be putting in our bodies. It's all about moderation and making the right choices. If you are going to eat rice, try and eat brown rice, or whole wheat past instead of regular pasta. Any diet that tells you to almost entirely cut out a certain nutrient, like carbs, can't be very healthy. I have to agree and disagree to a point, because I'm not into fad diets, but I've been very successful on SBD, because of my body, and my lifestyle. It works for some, not for others. For me, it's helped me to lose some weight that the pill had caused me to gain. It's good for a little bit here and there. My mom has also had success with it. I'm anemic, so the meats have been good for me, but not only that - I LOVE veggies, and my husband wasn't as into them. But since we've been doing South Beach, he's been really into veggies, so it's actually helping us eat healthier! I still need fruit because of my frequent battles with UTIs, but I've just been doing everything in moderation.
 
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I've been low-carbing for a while now.. I feel so much better, but when I get that little extra carbs, I start feeling sick :|

thanks for the details


 
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thanks! I'm always looking for more info on watching the carbs.

 
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I actually feel a lot better when I cut out most carbs, including (unfortunately) sugar. Its not a huge stretch for me anyway because Im not a big fan of potatos, rice or bread. But now Im on the second phase of SBD and need to add a few whole wheat things back in, probably my breakfast cereal.

 
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I just avoid the simple carbohydrates and get most of my carbs from fruits, vegetables, and whole wheats. I LOVE Fiber One and All Bran cereal as well. Most people don't get as much fiber as they should, but I definately do.

 
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Thanks for posting - lots of great information.

I wish more people were aware of the difference between simple and complex carbs. It seems like everyone is looking for the quick fix to their weight problems.

My mom loves eating no carbs, but she eat 3000 calories worth of meats and other crap (as long as it is not fruit, milk or sugar). She wonders why she never loses any weight.

One thing I wanted to mention is alcohol. Alcohol is 7 calories per gram and is pure sugar. If you want to eliminate simple sugars and lose weight, strongly consider eliminating alcohol while on a low-carb diet.

 

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