Carbohydrates are the main source of calories and energy that people get from their food. Carbohydrates include simple sugars and starches. During digestion carbohydrates are broken into glucose which is used by the brain and body to produce cellular energy called ATP.
Carbohydrates are classified into:
Based on their chemical structure, and size, carbohydrates can be divided into simple and complicated categories:
Simple carbohydrates are the most readily absorbed and smallest type of carbohydrate. Simple sugar molecules are made up of five- or six carbon rings that have hydroxyl groups at various places. Monosaccharides are made up of only one simple sugar like glucose or fructose. Disaccharides form when two simple sugars bind together, such as sucrose (table-sugar), which is made from glucose and fructose.
Complex carbohydrates are large molecules made up of long or branching chains containing many glucose molecules bound together. Starches are complex carbohydrates that are digestible in the digestive tract by enzymes. Fibers are complex carbohydrates that are not digestible by enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract. Amylose and Amylopectin are the most common food starches.
Simple carbohydrates include candy, soda, and table sugar. They also include honey, fruit, and many dairy products. Bread, rice, corn oats, rye, barley, sweet potatoes, legumes, tapioca beans, yams, and peas, are some examples of food with a high amount of complex carbohydrate.
Whole grain pasta is an example of food that contains complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are typically low in nutrients, especially when highly processed, like sodas, juice without pulp and table sugar. Milk, fruit, and complex carbohydrates contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals. Dietary fiber is also found in whole fruit and grains.
The negative effects of eating too many carbohydrates are primarily due to excess calories or simple sugars. A gram of digestible carbohydrate provides four extra calories to the diet. Weight gain can occur when someone consumes more calories than they need. This may contribute to metabolic syndrome. A person with type II diabetic can experience health problems from excessive carbohydrate consumption. Simple carbohydrates can also contribute to dental decay if they are consumed in excess.
Increased carbohydrate intake and type 2 diabetes:
Insulin is the hormone that signals to cells that the glucose in the bloodstream is ready for them to absorb. Early type II diabetes is characterized by the production of enough insulin but the cells in the muscles and fat tissues are not responsive to it. Insulin signals are not absorbed, and glucose circulates in the blood instead. This keeps blood sugar levels high. The pancreas is exhausted in advanced type II diabetes and cannot produce enough insulin to respond to a meal rich in carbohydrates. After eating, blood sugar levels rise from the carbohydrates in food and are unable to drop.
Exercise, dietary modifications, and medications are usually enough to control early type II diabetes. Insulin is usually required for more advanced types of diabetes. Anyone with type II diabetics should eat complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber and keep within the daily carbohydrate and total calorie range that their doctor has recommended. What happens when you consume too many carbohydrates with type 2 diabetes? Excessive carbs can lead to an increase in blood sugar and other serious health problems.
Obesity and Too Many Carbs:
If you consume too many carbohydrates, your calorie intake will also be high. This is especially true if you are sedentary or eat too many carbs that come from sources with low nutritional value, such as soda, candy, and cookies. The pancreas releases more insulin when carbohydrates are increased. Even if blood sugar levels are normal after eating a high-carbohydrate, calorie-rich meal, insulin can promote fat storage by causing fat cells to take up glucose.
Metabolic syndrome can be caused by consuming too many carbohydrates. This may lead to obesity, weight gain, an increase in blood triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. Metabolic syndrome increases insulin resistance, and therefore the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases.