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 have multiple sugar molecules linked together by “starch.”
Foods high 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) goes up based on carbohydrate intake. The higher the GI number, the more blood sugar rises.
The Farrell's nutrition plan was created to supply members with a low glycemic load that keeps them in “burn mode” throughout the day, avoiding cravings and having too much food.
5 Effects of Too Little Carbs
Carbs are an essential macronutrient. Cutting out or limiting carbs from your diet can have some side effects that we’ve shown below.
1. Energy Loss & Fatigue—Carbs are our main fuel source. Not eating enough healthy carbs reduces the body’s fuel source. If you don’t have enough glucose from healthy carbs to burn, the body will begin burning fat. Doesn’t sound like a bad thing, but for active individuals, exhaustion and energy loss will settle in quickly and long-term effects could mean reduced performance.
2. Constipation—Our dietary fiber comes from complex carbs and is essential for bathroom regularity. A low-carb diet can cause constipation, so it’s important to ensure you’re eating enough healthy fiber, or “roughage” as they used to say, to be regular.
3. Mood Changes—Carbohydrates have been connected to the release of serotonin in the brain, which is the chemical that helps us feel happy. Too few healthy carbs can mean a decrease in serotonin levels, possibly bringing on 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. Warning signs of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, hunger, weakness, and difficulty speaking.
5. Ketosis—Ketosis is a regular metabolic action. If you don’t have adequate glucose (energy) from carbs to burn, your body will start burning fat, which is called ketosis. During this process, your body produces ketones for a fuel source. If you’re consuming a balanced diet, this isn’t a problem and your body adjusts to your levels. Where ketosis can become problematic is when your body builds up 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 an ample amount of what your body has to have to perform 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 spike in blood sugar because they are quickly broken down versus carbs that are high in fiber that digest at a slower pace, letting out energy over time. When this spike takes place, our bodies release hormones to regulate blood sugar, which creates the crash. Carbs that are complex and dense in fiber will help avoid the carb spike and crash.
2. Type 2 Diabetes—While not an immediate effect of consuming too many high-glycemic carbs, a high-carb diet can heighten your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Limiting your portions is essential for reducing the risk of having type 2 diabetes. While carbs, and the sugars from carbs, are important for proper function, they need to be portioned for what is needed. An overabundance of sugary drinks and foods is what puts you at risk.
Adding just one serving of a sugary beverage to your diet each day increases 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—Consuming too many refined carbs or high-glycemic carbs can also cause weight gain, which could lead to becoming overweight or obese, which can lead to more health problems like stroke, heart disease, and sleep apnea. Eating too many carbs, like any macronutrient, means we have too much in our bodies. When we have this overload, our body holds onto the excess as fat.
When preparing meals and grocery shopping, make a routine to read the nutrition label. Don’t buy foods that have added sugar and sweeteners and stick to water as a substitute for sugary drinks and sodas.
If you’re following your Farrell's nutrition plan, you’re already taking in the correct, balanced nutrition your body needs to operate effectively and efficiently to achieve your best in and outside of the gym.
If you're currently not a member of Farrell's and not achieving your fitness goals, contact one of our locations or enroll in our next session to have a real fitness transformation! We also offer a free week of fitness classes!
- Everyday Health