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 dense 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 rises.
The Farrell's nutrition plan is designed to supply members with 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. Cutting out or decreasing 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 limits the body’s fuel source. If you don’t have enough glucose from healthy carbs to burn, the body will begin using fat. Doesn’t sound bad, but for active individuals, weakness and energy loss will settle in quickly and long-term effects could mean decreased performance.
2. Constipation—Our dietary fiber comes from complex carbs and is essential for bathroom regularity. A low-carb diet could cause constipation, so it’s important to be certain you’re eating enough healthy fiber, or “roughage” as they used to say, to remain regular.
3. Mood Changes—Carbohydrates have been linked to the release of serotonin in the brain, which is the chemical that helps us feel happy. Not enough healthy carbs can mean a drop in serotonin levels, possibly causing 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 normal 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 creates ketones for a fuel source. If you’re eating a balanced diet, this won’t be a problem and your body adjusts to your levels. Where ketosis can become dangerous 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 plenty of what your body needs 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 hike in blood sugar because they are quickly broken down versus carbs that are high in fiber that digest at a slower pace, releasing energy over time. When this spike happens, our bodies release hormones to regulate blood sugar, which creates the crash. Carbs that are complex and rich in fiber will help prevent the carb spike and crash.
2. Type 2 Diabetes—While not an immediate cause of eating too many high-glycemic carbs, a high-carb diet can increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Eating the right portion size is essential for lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. While carbs, and the sugars from carbs, are necessary for your body to work normally, they need to be portioned for what is needed. Excess from sugary drinks and foods is what puts you at risk.
Adding just one serving of a sugary drink to your diet daily ups 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 make you gain weight, which could lead to becoming overweight or obese, which can lead to a number of additional problems 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 holds onto the excess as fat.
When planning meals and grocery shopping, make a habit to take a look at the nutrition label. Avoid foods that have added sugar and sweeteners and stick to water instead of sugary drinks and sodas.
If you’re applying your Farrell's nutrition plan, you’re already taking in the correct, balanced nutrition your body needs to work successfully and efficiently to achieve your best in and outside of the gym.
If you're currently not a member of Farrell's and not reaching your fitness goals, get in touch with one of our locations or enroll in our next session to undergo a real fitness transformation! We also offer a free week of fitness classes!
- Everyday Health