Different types of carbohydrates as (good) energy

For energy can also make proteins, but the body prefers carbohydrates and fats as the main energy source. In food, carbohydrates are found in a variety of products in the form of starch, sugars, and fibers. After conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, the body gets through the combustion energy required. Carbohydrates are therefore needed to move and to be able to absorb nutrients and digest. Also, carbohydrates are required for this to work the nervous system and the muscles. By the Health advised 40 – to reach 70% of energy from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates have a great influence on the blood sugar level in the body. Some carbohydrates provide a very rapid rise in blood sugar levels and therefore insulin in the blood. Other carbohydrates more slowly to recommend their release energy and are therefore earlier.



All carbohydrates are sugars, in principle, and therefore consist of one or more sugar molecules (polysaccharides). Further, they consist of carbon atoms that are committed with hydrogen and oxygen. The body converts carbohydrates from food offered to glucose (blood sugar). This, in turn, gives a signal to the pancreas to deliver insulin to the blood. The hormone insulin regulates the glucose level in the blood. It works like a key with which the interior of a cell is opened so that the glucose can enter the cell in order there to generate energy. At that time, redundant and therefore toxic glucose is restricted stored for later use as glycogen in the liver and as fat in the muscle tissue. An excess of carbohydrates causes correspondingly much production of insulin.

Types of carbohydrates in food

Carbohydrates are found in the diet as:

  • Sugars: Honey, natural sugars such as fruit, cane sugar, and syrup
  • Fibers in apples, citrus and many other fruits, beans, barley, oats and green leafy vegetables
  • Starch: in fruits, grains, vegetables and legumes


The sugar sweetener is extracted by refining beet and sugar (granulated). Also, the sugar from the plant is dissolved in hot water and purified by re-crystallization and filtration. Also, one knows, among other things, from fruit sugar (fructose), milk sugar (lactose), malt sugar (maltose), dextrose (glucose), and starch. All sugars contain approximately the same amount of calories. All this provides energy but provides the body with no minerals, fiber, and vitamins. The function of sugar is partly raised in the form of sweetener, flavoring agent, binder, preservatives, and flavoring agent.

By cleavage of the sugars into fructose and glucose, followed by the conversion of the fructose in a glucose unit, is digestion possible? After that, the glucose is transported via the bloodstream as a blood sugar to all cells in the body, which require energy. An excess of sugars from carbohydrates is converted by bacteria in the mouth into an acid, which is detrimental to the tooth enamel and can lead to holes in the teeth and molars. Incidentally, sugar is in (to) detected many products. For example, it is added to meats, canned beans and on virtually all packaged foods. Also, the total consumption of sweetener, however, is much higher due to the addition of aspartame, fructose, honey and malt syrup of food.


These consist of a large group of components and can be differentiated into whether or not soluble fibers in water. The majority of the fruit and vegetables containing water-soluble fibers, and insoluble fibers in water. Soluble fibers slow the absorption of carbohydrates and also the slow release of sugars into the blood stream. In contrast, passing the non-soluble fibers, such as nuts, fruit peels, rice bran and the intestines without having to solve. A high fiber diet is helpful to check blood sugar, lowers cholesterol levels and also ensures an easy bowel movement. If that one is not accustomed to high-fiber food is possible because of abdominal pain and flatulence better not to proceed with a drastic change, but to increase fiber intake gradually. Start with soluble fiber and drink while lots of water between meals.


It consists of a chain of more than three thousand glucose molecules. It is a binder of food products and is formed by a mixture of two polysaccharides: amylose and amylopectin. While amylose is the smallest but also the most important kind. It comes in proportion to amylopectin 150 x as many for into the body. Both types comprise moreover glucose molecules. Starch is in heating mode soluble in water and using hydrolytic enzymes are recovered various starch sugars. These sugars can be distinguished in glucose syrups and dextrose, the latter of which allows for fully converted glucose.

Also, from glucose via the enzyme glucose isomerase it twice will be created as sweet fructose. Glucose is further a raw material for the production of polyols (such as sorbitol), bio-ethanol, citric acid and ascorbic acid.


Breakdown of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates can be divided into:

  • simple carbohydrates
  • carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates

The carbohydrates provide almost immediately for a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. In that case, there will be as much as glucose-free that the body is unable to use or process immediately. The excess glucose is then to a small extent in the liver and muscles as glycogen stored. The major part is converted in the body to and stored as fat. THEREFORE leads the consumption of excess sugars to fat.

Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates, according to most experts by their longer chain simple sugars more complicated by the body to digest than the shorter chains of simple carbohydrates. Thereby slowly they give off sugars, causing adverse effects are often omitted on blood sugar. Indigestible fibers are thereby ensuring proper functioning of the intestines. Also, take complex carbohydrates as opposed to the shorter single version or nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and fibers in.

In addition to the division of simple and complex carbohydrates can be carbohydrates also subdivide into:

  • refined carbohydrates
  • unrefined carbohydrates

Unrefined carbohydrates are unprocessed carbohydrates such as they occur in nature. Refined carbohydrates are processed on all sides by the manufacturers.

The occurrence of excessive refined carbohydrates

If desired, the unrefined carbohydrates may be refined and processed, wherein the food, however, looses very much of its nutritional value. A large part of the essential nutrients and fiber will be lost. All this is only partially offset by producers to enrich these products with small amounts of synthetic vitamins and minerals and treating them with chemical preservatives and other artificial additives. Refined carbohydrates are anyway less healthy because they contain fewer vitamins, minerals, and fiber than unprocessed carbohydrates.

From refined carbohydrates have been removed all the fiber and nutrients, creating a sophisticated (refined) product. This product is then enriched with some synthetic vitamins and minerals. After digestion, these carbohydrates like glucose in the blood and this glucose is quickly absorbed by the tissues, which burn.

In the nineties of the last century was in fact already recommended to minimize refined carbohydrates to eat. But because more women were in the workforce and therefore had less time for household chores such as cooking, it was nevertheless a revival of consumption of refined foods in the form of ready-to-eat products.

Also, speed is important that certain carbohydrate feed is converted by the body into glucose (sugar). This speed of reaction is expressed regarding a glycemic index (GI), whereby the rise of the blood sugar 90 minutes after eating food is kept. One and another in comparison with, for example, the conversion of glucose.

The arrangement of food in the glycemic index

Food products which score high in this index (over 55) are often described as poor. They burden the pancreas and are fattening. The inclusion of these carbohydrates is slowed, if your protein and fat while eating refined foods. Also, there are sharp fluctuations in blood pressure and prevent insulin levels. Products with a listing of under 55 in the GI index, however, are much healthier because then converted sugars (glucose) and insulin is slowly and steadily release. Thus, a sustained flow of energy comes from the consumption of these products freely without exhibiting these peaks. It would be ideal if the low recorded food would provide 2/3 of the total calories. Anno 2016, most nutritionists recommend a diet that is rich in plant nutrients and grains and low in saturated fats and sugar.

Various diets for good health

The Mediterranean diet

These traditional healthy diet approaches are the closest most ideal diet. It contains a well-balanced omega six / omega three ratios, is rich in fruits and vegetables, fish, meat from grass-eating animals, walnuts, wild honey, and is low in saturated fats. In addition, this diet fits perfectly with the current nutrition science, not the amount of fat, but the type of fat is important for health. The benefits of the Mediterranean diet include:

  • it contains plenty of whole grains (with the advantage of cereals is not everyone recognized, please refer to the Paleo diet)
  • it is low in refined carbohydrates
  • it prefers fish over meat and cheese over milk
  • it uses olive oil and lots of omega-3 fatty acids from vegetables, nuts, fish and seeds
  • it is easy to prepare, and also includes further a great variety of flavors
  • it promotes eating fresh, unprocessed foods and therefore contains a lot of fiber and phytonutrients


Are plant substances that provide protection against toxins, radiation, and pollution. The majority of plant foods (grains, vegetables, and legumes) is also extremely rich in phytonutrients. Other good products are buckwheat, peas, barley, millet, corn, peanuts, rye and soy beans. Sometimes phytonutrients in concentrated and synthetic form added to foods.

The Paleo diet

It allowed all meat and fish, fresh fruit and vegetables, potatoes, fresh nuts, legumes, water in bottles and pure vegetable oil. Not allowed are: all grains and sugars, milk and dairy products, all canned or processed foods, eggs, alcohol, coffee and tea, dried fruits, and tap water. This diet is so eaten very little carbohydrates.

The Atkins diet

This diet, devised by Atkins about the year 1970, provides for a diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fats. Anno 2016, however, this diet is not as popular, partly because critics believe that following this diet can lead to heart and kidney problems.

The Zone Diet

The Zone Diet was developed in the nineties by the American biochemist Dr. Barry Sears and is based on keeping the balance of insulin levels. One and another by a balanced intake of carbohydrates and proteins, and the avoidance of an intake of foods with a high content of carbohydrates / refined sugars. Users of all these diets claim to have benefited, but scientific evidence is lacking in this.


Disadvantages of an over-consumption of refined carbohydrates

The consumption of large amounts of refined carbohydrates usually goes hand in hand with a reduced intake of minerals, vitamins, and fibers. As a result, however, there is an increase in the number of cases of (bowel) cancer and stroke. A and another because the consumption of carbohydrates stimulates the production of insulin. Chronically high insulin levels can lead besides the listed diseases to include heart attacks and thyroid problems. Also, this is applicable in diabetes is type 2, in which is also often a disordered lipid metabolism involved.

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