Facts About Fast Carbs
Carbohydrates are divided into «fast» and «slow» depending on speed our body breaks them down with. Taking a closer look at that issue, we understand that these terms do not correctly convey the meaning. Scientists have proven that different carbohydrates are absorbed and impact human body in almost similar way, and they are broken down depending on their molecular structure. Therefore, they should be rather called «simple» and «complex» ones: the first type contains small number of structural elements while second type contains a great deal of them. However, they are usually referred to as the fast and slow ones.
Let’s get to business then. Fast carbs are monosaccharides which are chemical compounds contains one or two molecules. Sugar is a typical example as it contains fructose and glucose. We get galactose from milk and milk products. Such compounds are easily dissolved in water; they have a sweet taste and high GI. They are actively broken down into elements during glycolysis – the oxidative process (Greek word glycys means sweet, lysis means dissolution. Then the elements enter the blood stream upon food consumption. As a result, we feel ourselves happy, energetic and able to manage our work.
However, simple carbohydrates do not stay in body. They are digested and used very quickly. Once you ate «fast» food, pancreas starts to produce insulin. This hormone controls glucose level in blood. If its concentration exceeds 5,5 mmol/l, then blood can thicken and blood clots may form in the blood vessels. Therefore, glycogen quickly distributes glucose or energy source between organ and tissue cells. One starts to feel tired and then gets hungry again 15-20 minutes after eating waffle or chocolate bar.
If one gets a lot of energy, then body stores it just in case. This is how fat deposits settle in. And then body gets rid of all unnecessary stuff in two ways and you already know in which ones.
When Are Fast Carbs Good for You?
«Simple» food can be sometimes healthy, too. This is especially true when sportsman is tired after intensive strength training and his body needs some energy. This period is called a «metabolic window» and lasts 30 minutes after workout. Athletes usually drink gainer or eat couple of bananas during that time.
Pancreas hormone supplies muscles with glucose. Entering muscles, it provides them with energy and stretches cells to some extent. This is a nice bonus for bodybuilder. Restoring processes start helping to gain mass and progress further.
However, muscles don’t have endless reserves and if they are already filled, then energy is going to be stored for the future and this is how fat settles in stomach and sides.
Why Are «Simple» Products Bad for You?
Fast carbs should not be consumed by people who have sedentary way of life. Nutritionists are strongly convinced in that matter. These substances are not deadly bad for your body. Yet, all the candies, cakes, donuts and croissants strongly overload pancreas which produces insulin. Endocrine system starts to try its limits. Blood sugar jumps up and down like a rubber ball making one feel tired and less energetic.
There are almost no any necessary micro elements in such a food. Yet, it has a very high energy value. Fruits and honey are the only exception. But they should be consumed in moderation, as well. Therefore, people with sweet tooth are in risky zone: «empty» calories may cause obesity, pancreatitis or diabetes.
The Ways to Spot Foods with Fast Carbs
To define which food is healthy for your body and which one you should stay from, check out its glycemic index (GI). This is a special value which signifies the way certain food affects blood sugar level. Pure glucose level is 100. At that, there are foods with even higher GI.
Simple rule of thumb is that the smaller is GI, the healthier is food. Table provided below indicates the «worst» sources of simple carbs.
Rice and wheat syrup
Fried potatoes and French fries
Gluten-free white bread
White bread for breakfast
Rice cakes, popped rice
Cola and fizzy drinks
Safe Ways to Consume Simple Carbs
To safely consume «fast» food, follow two rules:
1. Right timing. Do you like sweets? Then eat them only in the mornings. Body has an easier time to process glucose before lunch and extra kilos won’t come to your waist. The later you eat them, the more chance that fast carbs will turn into extra kilos. They should not be consumed during dinner.
2. Right combination. Pectin, proteins and fiber slow down absorption of sugars. Therefore, you should have something else instead. For example, you can rather have a baked apple, jelly, curd with prunes or sun-dried apricots than cakes or cream-filled cookies.
Two simple rules and loads of benefits you get from sticking with them.
Fast carbs are almost useless for your body and they should not be consumed very often. Excessive consumption of fast carbs results in endocrine diseases and diabetes.
However, these substances can sometimes do you some good, too. For example, they are good to have when gaining mass or after heavy physical activity. Increase in glucose level evokes insulin «rush», which stimulates provision of muscles with nutritious substances and enters blood stream. In this case, pancreas hormone affects muscles like anabolic initiating restoring processes.