Carbohydrates include nutrients that are important for the body that have the main function as the body's main energy ingredient. This nutrient is divided into two forms, namely simple carbohydrates such as sugar and complex carbohydrates that can be found in various staple foods. Although today many people tend to limit their carbohydrate intake so that the diet they do succeed, there are still many benefits of carbohydrates for the body that many people may not know. So what are the benefits of carbohydrates for body health?
Various benefits of carbohydrates for the body, other than as an energy source
1. Provides stored energy
Not only is the main source, carbohydrates will also be stored as energy reserves. If you eat carbohydrates, but your body feels that the energy needed is enough, then the excess glucose will be stored in the liver in the form of glycogen.
The liver contains about 100 grams of glycogen, which can be released into the blood to provide energy throughout the body and helps maintain normal blood sugar levels between meals.
Reserve glucose is also present in the muscle, which is called muscle glycogen. But unlike glycogen in the liver, glycogen in your muscles can only be used by muscle cells. This glycogen is used during high intensity exercise for a long time. Each person's muscle glycogen varies, but around 500 grams.
If you meet the required glucose and your glycogen stores are full, your body can convert excess carbohydrates into triglycerides and store them as fat.
2. Helps maintain muscle mass
Storage of glucose reserves in the muscles is indeed very important for muscle health. When one day the body is deficient in glucose, the muscles must continue to work because your daily activities certainly use the muscles of the body. Well, at that time muscle glucose reserves are needed and the muscles will not lack energy at that time.
If the reserve of glucose in the muscle has run out, then the muscle will take protein for energy. The process of converting protein into energy will affect the body's muscle mass. Protein is a form of muscle mass that is very important, if protein continues to be used then muscle mass will decrease.
Of course, this is not a good body process, because muscle cells are very important for body movements. Muscle mass loss is associated with poor health and a higher risk of death.
Eating at least some carbohydrates in your diet is one way to prevent the loss of muscle mass associated with this hunger. This carbohydrate will reduce muscle damage and provide glucose as energy for the brain.
3. Improve digestive health
Not many people know if fiber belongs to a group of carbohydrates. Yes, the fiber you consume from vegetables and fruits is indeed good for your digestive system.
Fiber is divided into two, namely fiber soluble and not soluble in water. Water soluble fiber is found in nuts and inside fruits and some vegetables. When passing through the body, the fiber will absorb water and change shape to gel.
Soluble fiber can improve stool consistency and increase the frequency of bowel movements for people with constipation or constipation. In addition, soluble fiber also reduces tension and pain associated with bowel movements.
Meanwhile, fiber that is not soluble in water will directly pass through the digestive system and not blend with water. Therefore, most water-insoluble fibers can help the movement of dirt in the intestine. This type of fiber is found in grains and vegetables. Eating enough insoluble fiber can also protect against digestive tract disease.
4. Improve heart health and manage diabetes
Maybe most people think that carbohydrates are enemies of diabetes and other chronic diseases. But in fact, one of the benefits of complex carbohydrates is improving heart health and managing diabetes.
Eating lots of refined carbohydrates is very detrimental to your liver's health and can increase your risk of diabetes. However, eating foods that contain lots of fiber can be beneficial for heart health and blood sugar levels.
Because fiber dissolves through the small intestine, it binds bile acids and prevents them from being absorbed again. To make more bile acids, the liver uses cholesterol that should be in the blood.
A study shows that consuming 10.2 grams of soluble fiber supplements called psyllium every day can reduce LDL cholesterol by as much as seven percent.
The results of other studies summarized from 22 studies calculate that the risk of heart disease can decrease by about nine percent for every additional seven grams of dietary fiber consumed per day.
In addition, fiber does not increase blood sugar like simple carbohydrates. In fact, soluble fiber helps delay the absorption of carbohydrates in your digestive tract. This can make blood sugar levels lower after eating.
Fiber foods reduce blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes and also people with type 2 diabetes.
5. Weight control
Carbohydrates are often blamed for increasing weight, but the truth is that carbohydrates are very important for controlling healthy weight.
Fiber-rich foods add to your diet, making you feel full faster and satisfying your appetite for longer. High-fiber foods are generally low in calories too, so getting enough fiber can help you lose weight.
It is important for you to know the type of carbohydrate you consume. To get more optimal benefits, it is necessary to increase the type of complex carbohirate and reduce the type of simple carbohydrates.
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