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 high 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 was made to give members a low glycemic load that keeps them in “burn mode” throughout the day, preventing cravings and overeating.
5 Effects of Too Little Carbs
Carbs are an important macronutrient. Eliminating or limiting carbs from your diet can have some side effects that we’ve outlined below.
1. Energy Loss & Fatigue—Carbs are our main 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 like a bad thing, but for active people, exhaustion and energy loss will happen quickly and long-term effects could mean reduced performance.
2. Constipation—Our dietary fiber comes from complex carbs and is essential for bathroom regularity. A low-carb diet can 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. Limited healthy carbs can mean a decline 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. Signs of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, hunger, weakness, and difficulty speaking.
5. Ketosis—Ketosis is a natural metabolic process. 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 makes ketones for a fuel source. If you’re following a balanced diet, this won’t be a problem and your body becomes accustomed to to your levels. Where ketosis can become problematic is when your body has too many ketones from lack of energy, which can lead to dehydration and a chemical imbalance in the blood. Many individuals use 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 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 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 lower pace, letting out energy over time. When this spike takes place, our bodies release hormones to manage 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 result of taking in too many high-glycemic carbs, a high-carb diet can put you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Limiting your portions is essential for lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While carbs, and the sugars from carbs, are vital for proper function, they need to be sized 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 daily 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 an excess in our bodies. When we have this overload, our body stores the excess as fat.
When devising meals and grocery shopping, make a practice to take a look at the nutrition label. Don’t buy foods that have added sugar and sweeteners and have water as a substitute for sugary drinks and sodas.
If you’re applying your Farrell's nutrition plan, you’re already receiving the proper, balanced nutrition your body needs to operate effectively and efficiently to achieve 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 sign up for our next session to have a real fitness transformation! We also offer a free week of fitness classes!
- Everyday Health