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 rich 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 increases.
The Farrell's nutrition plan was created to give members 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 essential macronutrient. Removing or decreasing carbs from your diet can have some side effects that we’ve shown below.
1. Energy Loss & Fatigue—Carbs are our central fuel source. Not eating enough healthy carbs limits 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 like a bad thing, but for active people, exhaustion 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 important 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 be regular.
3. Mood Changes—Carbohydrates have been tied to the release of serotonin in the brain, which is the chemical responsible for making us feel happy. Limited healthy carbs can mean a decrease in serotonin levels, possibly producing 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 operation. If you don’t have adequate glucose (energy) from carbs to burn, your body will start burning fat, which is referred to as ketosis. During this process, your body creates ketones for a fuel source. If you’re following a balanced diet, this isn’t an issue and your body becomes accustomed to to your levels. Where ketosis can become unhealthy is when your body accrues 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 assure you’re still getting an ample amount of what your body requires to function 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 experienced 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 a spike in blood sugar because they are quickly absorbed versus carbs that are high in fiber that digest at a less rapid pace, discharging energy over time. When this spike takes place, our bodies release hormones to manage blood sugar, which creates the crash. Carbs that are complex and high in fiber will help avoid the carb spike and crash.
2. Type 2 Diabetes—While not an immediate result of consuming too many high-glycemic carbs, a high-carb diet can increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Portion control is essential for lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While carbs, and the sugars from carbs, are vital for your body to work normally, they need to be the right size for what is needed. Excess from sugary drinks and foods is what puts you at risk.
Adding just one serving of a sweet beverage 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—Eating 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 a number of other 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 keeps the excess as fat.
When preparing meals and grocery shopping, make a practice to take a look at the nutrition label. Avoid foods that have added sugar and sweeteners and drink water in place of sugary drinks and sodas.
If you’re applying your Farrell's nutrition plan, you’re already getting the proper, balanced nutrition your body needs to operate in the best manner and efficiently to be your best in and outside of the gym.
If you're currently not a member of Farrell's and not meeting your fitness goals, contact one of our locations or join our next session to undergo a real fitness transformation! We also offer a free week of fitness classes!
- Everyday Health