Carbohydrates provide the fuel our bodies need to power us through the day. “Carbs” are composed of sugars and starches.
Your body “burns” carbs for energy, breaking the molecular bonds to free up simple sugars like glucose. Glucose is the main sugar present in many foods but some contain different sugars, such as fructose in fruit or lactose in milk. Most sugars are digested and absorbed and converted to glucose; some cannot be digested, we call that fiber.
Glucose then moves into a cell and powers that cell and all the cells in your body, with the help of a chemical from the pancreas called insulin.
There are two main categories of carbs – complex and simple. Complex carbs take longer for the body to digest, they give you a longer-lasting feeling of fullness. Simple carbs convert into sugar quickly and give the body a quick boost right after eating. Both types of carbs are important for a well balanced diet.
Sometimes eating too many simple carbs can cause the body to release a lot of glucose into the blood stream in a short period of time. Large quantities of insulin then circulate to help transfer the glucose into your cells. This can lead to that familiar “let down” feeling after eating overly sweet snacks.