Simple carbs are foods with single and double sugar molecules. This includes glucose, fructose and sucrose.
- Milk (also a protein)
- Table sugar
Complex carbs are foods that contain multiple sugar molecules linked together by “starch.”
Foods dense in complex carbs include:
- Starchy vegetables like corn and peas
Glycemic Index Explained
The glycemic index (GI) is a measurement of how much blood sugar (fuel) goes up based on carbohydrate intake. The higher the GI number, the more blood sugar increases.
The Farrell's nutrition plan is designed to supply members with a low glycemic load that keeps them in “burn mode” throughout the day, warding off cravings and overeating.
5 Effects of Too Little Carbs
Carbs are an vital macronutrient. Eliminating or limiting carbs from your diet can have some side effects that we’ve summarized below.
1. Energy Loss & Fatigue—Carbs are our primary fuel source. Not eating enough healthy carbs decreases the body’s fuel source. If you don’t have enough glucose from healthy carbs to burn, the body will begin burning fat. Doesn’t sound negative, but for active people, weakness and energy loss will happen quickly and long-term effects could mean limited performance.
2. Constipation—Our dietary fiber comes from complex carbs and is essential for bathroom regularity. A low-carb diet could cause constipation, so it’s important to ensure you’re eating enough healthy fiber, or “roughage” as they used to say, to remain regular.
3. Mood Changes—Carbohydrates have been tied to the release of serotonin in the brain, which is the chemical that makes us feel happy. Too few healthy carbs can mean a decline in serotonin levels, possibly bringing on mood changes like anger, sadness, and even mild symptoms of depression.
4. Hypoglycemia—Not enough carbs can mean low blood sugar, which can lead to hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, hunger, weakness, and difficulty speaking.
5. Ketosis—Ketosis is a regular metabolic action. If you don’t have enough glucose (energy) from carbs to burn, your body will start burning fat, which is known as ketosis. During this process, your body creates ketones for a fuel source. If you’re consuming a balanced diet, this isn’t a problem and your body becomes accustomed to to your levels. Where ketosis can become dangerous is when your body builds up too many ketones from lack of energy, which can lead to dehydration and a chemical imbalance in the blood. Many individuals adopt a low-carb ketogenic diet for weight loss, but it needs to be balanced to make certain you’re still getting an ample amount of what your body has to have to perform normally.
3 Effects of Too Many Carbs
What could happen to your body if you eat too many unhealthy carbs?
1. Sugar Crash—We’ve all been through it. The blood sugar roller coaster of eating too many refined carbs and then suddenly crashing and feeling sleepy. Eating carbs high on the glycemic index can cause an increase in blood sugar because they are quickly absorbed versus carbs that are high in fiber that digest at a less rapid pace, letting out energy over time. When this spike occurs, our bodies release hormones to manage blood sugar, which causes the crash. Carbs that are complex and dense in fiber will help avoid the carb spike and crash.
2. Type 2 Diabetes—While not an immediate result of taking in too many high-glycemic carbs, a high-carb diet can heighten your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Portion control is essential for reducing the risk of ending up with type 2 diabetes. While carbs, and the sugars from carbs, are necessary for proper performance, they need to be portioned for what is needed. Too many sugary drinks and foods is what puts you at risk.
Adding just one serving of a sugary soda to your diet each day ups your risk by 15 percent, according to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health, published in November 2010 in Diabetes Care.
3. Weight Gain—Taking in too many refined carbs or high-glycemic carbs can also cause weight gain, which could lead to becoming overweight or obese, which can lead to more health issues like stroke, heart disease, and sleep apnea. Eating too many carbs, like any macronutrient, means we have an excess in our bodies. When we have this overload, our body holds onto the excess as fat.
When preparing meals and grocery shopping, make a routine to review the nutrition label. Don’t buy foods that have added sugar and sweeteners and drink water instead of sugary drinks and sodas.
If you’re following your Farrell's nutrition plan, you’re already receiving the correct, balanced nutrition your body needs to operate in the best manner and efficiently to achieve your best in and outside of the gym.
If you're currently not a member of Farrell's and not achieving your fitness goals, contact one of our locations or enroll in our next session to have a real fitness transformation! We also offer a free week of fitness classes!
- Everyday Health