Don’t think of carbohydrates as your rival. They are a major fuel source in your body, after all. In addition, many nutrients, vitamins and mineral are obtained from carbohydrates. But carbohydrates are known to increase weight gain in some cases. Carbohydrates can make you gain water weight and even fat, although as long as you’re consuming the correct quantities and types -- and sticking to your daily calorie allowance -- this shouldn’t be a major issue. If you eat more calories as carbohydrates than you burn you will obviously gain weight. 1 gram of carbohydrate has 4 calories, 1 gram of protein has four calories, and 1 gram of fat has 9 calories. If you eat too many calories in any form you will gain weight. It is just exceptionally easy to eat large amounts of carbohydrates eg bowl of rice or pasta, whereas you would not eat a chicken.
After your body converts carbohydrates into glucose, any leftover fuel gets converted into a polysaccharide carbohydrate called glycogen. Your liver and muscles store glycogen as energy and quickly turn it back into glucose as needed. The issue is that glycogen tends to make muscle tissues hold on to extra water, ultimately making the number on the scale go up. This is why when you severely cut back on carbs, you might lose weight rather quickly. You’re just using up all of your glycogen storage, forcing your body to release extra water which is stored with the glycogen, and it appears on the scale as a huge weight loss.
With the exception of fibre, all carbohydrates are converted into glucos. When glucose passes into your blood, your pancreas secretes the hormone insulin -- unless you are diabetic and have to inject it yourself. Insulin helps with glucose conversion into glycogen, but you only have room to store so much. Once your glycogen stores are full, the extra converted carbs get stored as fat, making you gain weight over time.
Poor Carb Choices
The difference between starch and sugar digestion and satiety could make you eat more, causing weight gain. Sugars from junk highly processed foods digest fast, giving you a sugar rush. You may feel hungry again not long after munching something sweet. Sugar from fruits, grains and vegetables digests similarly, although these foods also have fibre. Ultimately fibre, especially soluble fiber, slows down sugar absorption, lessening peaking glucose levels, and hence insulin peaks. Alternatively, starch from vegetables and grains takes longer to convert into glucose since it’s made up of multiple bonded strands. When your sugar levels stabilize, your appetite should be satisfied minimizing binge eating.
Optimal Carb Intakes
You need to leave enough room in your diet for protein and fat, rather than just filling up on carbohydrates. Adhere to a moderate carbohydrate intake to prevent weight gain. Focus on unprocessed carbohydrates and watch your portions - whole grains, fresh fruits, beans, legumes and vegetables to help you get a healthy dose of slow-digesting starch carbohydrates (low Glycaemic Index) , as well as fibre.
It is important to eat a balanced diet to satisfy your nutrient requirements – protein, carbohydrates and fats.
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