4 Functions of Carbohydrates in the Body
Windowofworld.com – What are the functions of carbohydrates in the body?, Now some types of diet or diet consider carbohydrates as nutrients that need to be avoided. Though many carbohydrates functions for the body are needed for daily activities.
In addition to protein and fat, carbohydrates are also the main nutrients found in daily food offerings and are needed by the body. Almost all healthy eating patterns suggest to include a combination of all three.
There are three main functions of carbohydrates that are needed by the body, namely:
1. The main energy source
The first functions of carbohydrates is as the main source of energy for the body. This energy is needed from breathing to more intense bodily activities, such as running. During the digestion process, the source of carbohydrates will be broken down into sugar, which is then absorbed by the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. This sugar is known as blood sugar (glucose). Assisted by insulin, sugar in the blood will enter the body’s cells. If there is excess glucose, it will be stored in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. When it is completely unused, glucose is converted into fat.
2. Limiting calorie intake
The second functions of carbohydrates in the body is to limit calorie intake. How to? According to scientific evidence, high fiber content from foods containing complex carbohydrates can prolong satiety. Compared to fat, carbohydrates also contain fewer calories. In 1 gram of fat contained 9 calories, while in 1 gram of carbohydrate only contained 4 calories.
3. Reducing the risk of certain diseases
Carbohydrates also functions in the body to reduce the risk of disease. This is based on evidence from several studies of food fiber from whole grains that are thought to be able to reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and maintain the health condition of digestive organs. Carbohydrate-rich sources of food include vegetables, potatoes or yams cooked with skin, and whole grains.
4. Determine the glycemic index
The glycemic index is a benchmark that assesses how quickly carbohydrates or sugars in food are absorbed into the body. The higher the glycemic index, the faster the food increases blood sugar levels. While foods with low glycemic index are more slowly digested by the body and do not make blood sugar rise quickly.
Research shows that the habit of consuming foods or drinks with a high glycemic index, such as white bread, sweet cakes, chocolate, and sweet drinks that are sweet, can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Carbohydrate Types and Sources
There are two types of carbohydrates, which are simple and complex. Complex carbohydrates take longer to process in the body, compared to simple carbohydrates. On the bright side, complex carbohydrates will provide energy consistently, without making the body get an excessive intake of calories suddenly. Complex carbohydrates are also less likely to accumulate as fat in the body.
Sugar is a simple form of carbohydrate, while flour and fiber are complex carbohydrates. Simple sugars include fructose, as well as sucrose and lactose in fruits, vegetables, milk, and dairy products.
There are several types of food that can provide optimal carbohydrates functions for the body. These foods include whole grains and bread that contain these ingredients (whole grains), brown rice or brown rice, pasta or cereals from whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits.
Recommended carbohydrate intake is around 45-65 percent of total daily calories, or around 900-1,300 calories of total 2,000 calories per day. To get it, carbohydrate sources are needed around 225-325 grams per day.
If you lack carbohydrates, it will likely make the body lack energy. When the body lacks calories from carbohydrates, symptoms that can be felt are dizziness, nausea, and weakness. Extreme diets that limit carbohydrates and other nutritional intake can also risk dehydration.
Do not underestimate the functions of carbohydrates for body health. If you want to adopt a diet that reduces carbohydrates, consult with your nutritionist to make sure that this type of diet is suitable for your health.