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 include 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) fluctuates based on carbohydrate intake. The higher the GI number, the more blood sugar goes up.
The Farrell's nutrition plan is designed to supply members with a low glycemic load that keeps them in “burn mode” throughout the day, preventing cravings and eating too much.
5 Effects of Too Little Carbs
Carbs are an vital macronutrient. Cutting out or limiting carbs from your diet can have some side effects that we’ve summarized below.
1. Energy Loss & Fatigue—Carbs are our central 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 utilizing fat. Doesn’t sound bad, but for people who are active, weakness and energy loss will settle in 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 may cause constipation, so it’s important to make sure you’re eating enough healthy fiber, or “roughage” as they used to say, to stay regular.
3. Mood Changes—Carbohydrates have been connected to the release of serotonin in the brain, which is the chemical that makes us feel happy. Too few healthy carbs can mean a drop in serotonin levels, possibly causing 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 natural metabolic action. If you don’t have ample glucose (energy) from carbs to burn, your body will start burning fat, which is called ketosis. During this process, your body produces ketones for a fuel source. If you’re following a balanced diet, this won’t be a problem and your body gets used to to your levels. Where ketosis can become unhealthy 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 confirm you’re still getting plenty of what your body has to have to work 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 tired. Eating carbs high on the glycemic index can cause an increase in blood sugar because they are quickly digested versus carbs that are high in fiber that digest at a lower pace, discharging energy over time. When this spike takes place, our bodies release hormones to adjust blood sugar, which prompts the crash. Carbs that are complex and rich in fiber will help block the carb spike and crash.
2. Type 2 Diabetes—While not an immediate effect of eating too many high-glycemic carbs, a high-carb diet can heighten your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Limiting your portions is essential for decreasing the risk of ending up with type 2 diabetes. While carbs, and the sugars from carbs, are vital for your body to work normally, they need to be portioned for what is needed. Excess from sugary drinks and foods is what puts you at risk.
Adding just one serving of a sweet drink to your diet each day increases 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 lead to weight gain, which could lead to becoming overweight or obese, which can lead to more health concerns like stroke, heart disease, and sleep apnea. Eating too many carbs, like any macronutrient, means we have too much in our bodies. When we have this overload, our body stores the excess as fat.
When preparing meals and grocery shopping, make a routine to take a look at the nutrition label. Don’t buy foods that have added sugar and sweeteners and have water instead of sugary drinks and sodas.
If you’re following your Farrell's nutrition plan, you’re already taking in the proper, balanced nutrition your body needs to operate successfully 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, reach out to one of our locations or join our next session to experience a real fitness transformation! We also offer a free week of fitness classes!
- Everyday Health