by Cory Popescu
If you consider more fatty meals, then you could have low-carb meals, especially low-carb lunch is preferred to high carb, as your body takes its energy from it and then it feeds off your body fat to further burn calories.
Let’s find out what carbohydrates are, what they can do for your body, and what kind are they.
Carbohydrates: What Are They?
When we consume energy the body takes it first from the carbohydrates. The body expects to find them and thus they become a valuable source of energy.
Carbohydrates are important for the body as it represents the main source of energy and they are also important in our digestion. All body cells and tissues need carbohydrates, they are essential:
- in brain function
- organ operation
- physical activity
- intestinal health
- body waste elimination
In biochemistry, carbohydrates are defined as “hydrates of carbon” and the formula is C(H2O) explained: every carbon atom has two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom exactly the molecule of water: 2 H and 1 O
Carbohydrates are broken down by the body into glucose, which is used for energy. Related to the way they break in the organism carbohydrates can be:
Generally, carbohydrates represent an essential nutrient for the body. Without them, the job of the protein would shift and perhaps would result in a malformed, defective human organism in the long term.
The simple carbs or simple “sugars” are assimilated faster and go into the bloodstream quickly creating a spike. And when they are not used for energy they eventually transform into body fat.
Example of simple sugars foods:
Other simple sugars based on two sugar molecule:
- sugar cane
- sugar maple
Especially honey, candies, and some fruits are high-calorie foods.
Four (4) calories correspond to one (1) gram of carbohydrates and you can quickly calculate the number of calories generated by carbohydrates when you eat the foods which do contain them.
Read their label – please note not all foods have the nutrition facts label – showing the carbohydrates grams in a certain quantity given on the label. It then becomes straightforward to measure how many calories you have from the carbohydrates of that specific food.
For instance, the nutrition facts label shows:
Carbohydrates 3.5 g and the food amount is 100 g. You are eating 300g of that food, then the carbohydrates would be 10.5 g ( = 3.5g x 3 ), and the number of calories from carbohydrates only in this 300g of food would be 42 ( =10.5g x 4 ).
Low-carb does not mean low calories, but in some cases can also mean zero carb foods. Nevertheless, if the number of calories in this nutrition label shows that for 100g of this food corresponds 150 calories, it means that for 300g you intake 450 ( =150 calories x 3 ) calories of this food.
If you are eating low carb, you will know that you plan to have about 130 grams and you can have 70-80 grams of low-carb lunch. It can consist of lean fish, peas, whole grain.
A 100 grams piece of salmon is included in zero carbs foods while being an excellent source of the following: multiple vitamins like A, K, B-integral (all types from B1 to B6, B9, B12), omega-3 fatty acids, minerals like selenium which the body needs to maintain bone health, improve the thyroid function or even reduce the risks of certain cancers.
Other minerals found in salmon are zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus. And more essential salmon contains antioxidants that could protect you from different cancer diseases as well as from aging faster. You have significant protein from a 100 grams steak of salmon, as it contains about 40% of the daily intake of an average person of 160 pounds according to the food and nutrition guidelines.
Your low-carb intake induces the calorie burning in your body system that could be easily explained.
This is what happens: carbohydrates are the fuel to produce energy in our body. When it needs energy, firstly it takes it from carbohydrates and only if they are not available either as fast or stored fuel, then the body has to put proteins to release energy.
This affects the body because the proteins’ main job is to repair muscle and to create new body tissues and not to produce energy.
Consequently, we lose lean body mass which in turn means that our body adjusts by burning fewer calories at rest. This all means that our energy levels are low and we cannot find enough to go through our daily activities.
Since the decision to cut down on carbs could be in fact the decision to lower the calories, then it can be done by just eating at “the right” time the good carbs when the body almost actually needs them.
Other complex carbs are
and their food sources:
- rice (starch)
- other plants (cellulose)
- insect exoskeletons (chitin)
The complex carbohydrates provide the nutrients for a longer time, digesting slowly and better for weight loss as the body is satisfied for a longer period and it reduces or eliminates hunger cravings.
Carbohydrates carry different values in terms of how they are digested in our bodies. The simple carbohydrates:
- white flour
are digested fast and get into the bloodstream quickly after intake producing hyperglycemia – high level of sugar in the bloodstream – even for a short period and thus creating the hunger cravings, as the stomach is not feeling satiated.
Complex sugars take longer to digest and upon entering the bloodstream they do not cause hyperglycemia. Complex carbohydrates provide the body with:
- dietary fiber
Common sources of complex carbs
By the fact that the complex carbs break slower into the bloodstream and digest slower thus the body would not feel hunger for a longer period.
Eating Low Carbs?
When you choose a low-carb lunch, an immediate option is looking at the nutrition facts label of the food product. Is there any saturated fat, and what is the amount? What other nutrients exist or do not exist that might be beneficial or… harmful for good health?
When you purchase processed food from stores pay attention to what it contains and keep in mind that some zero-carb foods are one of the best natural eats. Learn more about the content of the processed low-carb foods from their nutrition facts label.
By considering reading and understanding the nutrition facts labels on the food products, getting informed, one can learn about the next food to eat, what are the benefits, and what would be the consequences. When things like: high calories, high saturated fat, few or even zero minerals and vitamins, what is the point of eating low-carbs? An important number on the food labels is the number of calories for a certain amount of that food. Measure this and all other nutritional facts, including
- types of fat
Weigh the Benefits and Down-sides of the low-carb or zero carb foods
If the amount of calories outweighs drastically the benefits then, the food is not nutritious. When thinking of buying this, think of empty calories with no nutritional value like a pop sugary drink. Moreover, some low carb foods had to be produced through high processing means which makes them less healthy and they can also be high-priced.
On occasion, a higher price means lower carb without depleting the product of necessary nutrients and it could be worthy to buy it. Many other times are just showing a couple of grams less which translates into 8 calories. Who would find the product worthy of a higher price even if it doesn’t distort the nutritious value of the higher-carb original product?
You’ll figure it out yourself that when you take into account how much you burn when you walk for one hour. You might be about 180 pounds, and if you walk three miles in an hour you burn approximately 300 calories.
If you go for the low-carb lunch with green leafy as lettuce, kale, broccoli, add a cucumber. If you consider zero-carb foods, just have celery and boiled spinach. All carbs are gone and you can get enormous surprising benefits that these veggies are involved in reducing some types of cancer, reduced obesity, and diabetes.
They also help control your blood pressure, and due to the higher content of multiple B vitamins, they help regeneration of red blood, of healthy skin, and maintain brain cells.
When we select the food we could think of what is healthy for the body and by not thinking of weight loss and focusing on what produces good health makes us choose the foods which give us the most benefits. We then create better health with more nutritious elements and strong vitality for the entire body and peace of mind.
Eating Good Carbs Decision
Having carbohydrates in your meals is essential and their effect depends on the
Let’s examine these points.
The quality of carbs differs just because they include the two types: simple, and complex.
When we want a spike in our blood sugar – we got to be careful because the intake has different consequences depending on age, state of health, nutrition facts – one can have simple carbs for fast fuel.
Timing: Athletes before a competition and other people at the dawn of their day eat simple carbs in the form of table sugar, candy, honey, or juice. They digest quickly, the upside is that they have the nutrients quicker, and the downside is that the body needs more food quicker than when we eat complex carbs and hence the cravings. In daily life, we can have more before an intense effort and less otherwise.
Context: Fruit is simple carbs and because they are unrefined, not processed food, we aim for the best energy results by consuming adequate servings and in combination with other nutrients. We can choose whole fruit like apples, peaches, nectarines, watermelon, cantaloupe, kiwi, pears, oranges, mango, berries, and wedges of pineapple and papaya.
Although most of the recent diets based on low-carb lunch or zero carb foods, according to the Canadian and American dietary guidelines, each day 45 to 65 % of the total calorie intake of an adult should originate from carbohydrates.
Most common carbs are found in bread and other foods, like pasta, and whole grains. At times, we can replace those with the following which also may contain extra nutrients and fortify our bodies:
- brown rice
- cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower)
- leafy greens
- sweet potatoes
- wheat berries
Since bread and other foods that contain wheat flour are extremely common at every meal and snack it is easy to go over this threshold.
Therefore, one has to pay attention to other nutrients: fat and high-quality protein to balance the diet, in the end, generating and maintaining a balanced and energetic body even at times you may choose to have zero carb foods.