What are carbohydrates

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine Focused on Energetics of Food

What are carbohydrates?

With today’s high protein - low carbohydrate diets, people are often asking questions like, what are carbohydrates? What is the recommended carbohydrate intake per day?

All carbohydrates are made of the same three compounds: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

The name “carbohydrate” comes from its chemical makeup. “Carbo-“ means carbon; “hydrate” means water. Carbohydrates can be consumed in the simple (ie. white bread) or the complex form (ie. whole grains) to produce energy.

Recommended carbohydrate intake per day

Carbohydrates are one of the six essential nutrient compounds found in food and are the primary source of dietary energy for the body. The recommended carbohydrate intake per day is 40% - 50% of total calories (for most people).

For example:

Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram.

A 2000 calorie diet X 40% - 50% = 800 – 1000 calories

800 – 1000 calories divided by 4 calories = 200 – 250 grams.

What are carbohydrates minimum intake level for normal brain function?

For total carbohydrates, including starch and sugars, the Institute of Medicine recommends a minimum level for normal brain function and a recommended carbohydrate intake per day for healthy eating.

130 grams are the recommended minimum daily allowance of carbohydrates for people ages one year or over to support normal brain function. The adequate intake level for pregnancy is 175 grams and for breast-feeding, 210 grams.

What are carbohydrate sources?

Carbohydrates are found in most all foods except meat, fish, poultry, and fat.

Most carbohydrates come from plant-based foods. Through photosynthesis, plants transform the sun’s energy into carbohydrates as food for their own growth.

As a result, carbohydrates-sugars and starches-naturally form in fruits and vegetables, including legumes (dry beans), grain products, nuts and seeds.

What are carbohydrates: Your Power Source

Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source, powering everything from jogging, to breathing, to thinking, and even digesting food. Actually, glucose (blood sugar) is the main form of carbohydrate used for energy.

Carbohydrates, absorbed from your digestive tract, cause blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise. Insulin helps glucose enter cells, where it is used for energy.

Your body doesn’t turn all of its blood sugar to energy at the same time. As blood sugar levels rise above normal, insulin signals your liver, muscles, and other cells to store the extra.

Some gets stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen, a storage form of carbohydrate. Some glucose also may be converted to body fat-if you consume more calories than you need. To keep your weight healthy and maintain your weight you have to balance you’re the calories you eat with those you burn.

The key to supporting lean muscle mass is maximizing glycogen stores. We need glycogen to fuel muscle tissue as well as other organs. The Garcinia Cambogia (tamarind fruit from Asia) in the whole food supplement we recommend can help to maximize the body’s glycogen stores.

It does this by stalling the conversion of consumed carbohydrates to body fat, therefore encouraging full glycogen storage. Over time, (not over night), full glycogen stores helps to give constant energy, build lean mass and reduce body fat.

When the glycogen stores are “full” your brain gets an accurate message that your body doesn’t need more fuel. You don’t feel hungry. Also, the dietary fiber gives you a natural feeling of fullness.

Often when consumers are trying to find an answer to; what are carbohydrates, the also ask what do the terms like “net carbs,” “low carb,” or “net impact carbs” mean? Although currently allowed, these terms aren’t regulated by the FDA, at least not now.

Their meaning is unclear, varying among food manufacturers and weight-loss plans. “Net carbs” may be total carbohydrates minus fiber, or minus fiber and sugar alcohols. The idea is: they aren’t counted because fiber isn’t absorbed and sugar alcohols aren’t completely absorbed. This issue is under scientific debate.

Your body also derives energy from fat and protein, but “carbs” should be your main energy source. Protein should be saved for what only protein can do: build and repair body tissues.

If your carbohydrate (energy) intake is less than what your body needs and if your limited glycogen stores are spent, body proteins are broken down for energy. In a low-carb, high-fat diet, fat becomes an energy source: in the process, potentially harmful ketones can build up in your blood, which is not healthful either.

Hopefully we helped answer the question, what are carbohydrates? They are important since glucose is the only form of energy your brain can use!

Chosen wisely, carbohydrate-rich foods – whole foods and enriched grain foods, fruits, vegetables, beans – deliver more than energy. Much attention has been given to their role in lowering the risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and some cancers.

But as much as it’s preached, most people still don’t eat enough whole foods like fruits and vegetables every day. That's why whole food supplements have experienced such incredible demand. A whole food supplement is a product in which only the healthiest of foods are compressed and then encapsulated.

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What Are Carbohydrates

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