Glucose or sugar that is processed from carbohydrates serves as a fuel that will be used by the body. The main benefits of carbohydrates are as a source of energy for the body in carrying out various functions, as well as to perform various activities every day.
Carbohydrates can be divided into two types, namely simple and complex. Both types of carbohydrates have differences in their chemical structure. In general, simple carbohydrates only contain basic sugars which are easily digested and absorbed by the body. Meanwhile, complex carbohydrates have a longer sugar chain. So it takes a long time to digest and absorb this type of carbohydrate. Natural carbohydrate sources are easy to find, namely in the form of grains, grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and milk .
There are three macronutrients, which are nutrients that are found in some of the foods we consume. One of the three macronutrients is carbohydrates. Two other macronutrients are fat and protein .
Carbohydrates themselves consist of three types, namely:
Starch is a carbohydrate found in foods derived from plants. Examples are grains, vegetables and nuts. Starchy foods, such as pasta and bread, also include starch.
Fiber is also found in foods derived from plants. Wheat bread , beans, and some vegetables eaten with their skin are good sources of fiber .
Not all carbohydrates are sugar, but all sugars are carbohydrates. Sugar can be obtained naturally from various foods. Sugar found in fruit is called fructose, sugar in milk is called lactose , and sugar is called sucrose. In the process of making cakes, chocolate, and candy, sucrose is usually added as a sweetener.
Benefits of Carbohydrates for the Body
Carbohydrates are a source of energy for the body. When you consume carbohydrates, the body will convert it to glucose which is the body’s main fuel. The body needs carbohydrates because these substances have some of the most important benefits, including:
When you breathe, move, walk, think or do other activities, the body needs energy. This energy is obtained from carbohydrates that are digested and processed into glucose. After that, insulin will help glucose to be absorbed into the body’s cells. This is where the body gets energy.
Meet healthy calorie needs
In meeting calorie needs, you must pay attention to the portion of the meal so as not to overeat to make the body excess calories. Calories derived from a lower amount of carbohydrates than the same amount of fat. Calorie consumption of your body will be better if the carbohydrate source you choose has high fiber content, such as brown rice, whole grain bread, and nuts. 45-65 percent of body calories are recommended to come from carbohydrates.
Reducing the risk of disease
The benefits of consuming carbohydrates sourced from nuts and vegetables can reduce the risk of disease. Fiber in these carbohydrates can reduce the risk of constipation . Intestinal health can also increase thanks to the benefits of carbohydrates. In fact, research has proven that several types of fiber can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, although it has not been fully proven, several studies have shown a reduced risk of obesity and diabetes by consuming high-fiber grains and carbohydrates.
Do not lack or excess carbohydrates
Carbohydrate needs per day for each person are different. This depends on your age, sex, physical activity, and certain medical conditions. But in general, healthy adults need a carbohydrate intake of around 220 – 300 grams per day. For those who want to maintain weight, the recommended carbohydrate intake is around 50 – 150 grams per day.
Women less than 50 years old need 25 grams of fiber per day, while women over 50 years old need 21 grams of fiber per day. Meanwhile, men under 50 years old need 38 grams of fiber per day and men over 50 years old need 30 grams per day.
Sugar produced from carbohydrates will be stored in the form of fat in the body if not used immediately. Therefore, consuming excessive carbohydrates means you are accumulating more fat in the body. This can increase the risk of various diseases, such as obesity , diabetes, and heart disease.
Conversely, lack of carbohydrates is also not good for the body. When lacking in carbohydrates, the body will weaken and take protein and fat to be used as energy. The process of breaking the fat into energy can cause the buildup of ketones in the blood. If left unchecked, it can cause ketosis. Ketosis can cause dizziness, weakness, nausea and dehydration . The lack of carbohydrates at risk makes you lack of other nutrients that are important for bodily functions.
Stay wise in choosing the type and regulating the portion of carbohydrates, in order to get the benefits of carbohydrates that are suitable for the body’s needs