Carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced diet because they provide energy to the body. The body uses carbs to make glucose which is a component of the main energy provider, starch. Regular intake of the carbohydrate-rich food in the form of bread, grains, pasta, and vegetables charges the body with requisite energy.

"...carbohydrates provide the body with the energy it needs and are a good source of many vitamins and minerals. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal", says Donna Logan, RD, a registered dietitian at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston.

Carbohydrates and Joint Pain

Several studies show that a diet high in fat and carbohydrates (especially simple sugars) can cause joint problems including arthritis. Maintaining a correct balance of complex carbs along with other nutrients is essential for the treatment of joint pain and for general joint health.

There are 2 major types of carbs in foods:

Simple carbohydrates

Known as simple sugars can either be refined or natural. As a rule, refined simple carbohydrates (sugar, high fructose corn syrup, most processed foods, etc.) are unhealthy and should be avoided. Natural simple carbs such as fruits and milk are nutritious and should be included in your diet in a balanced way.

Complex carbohydrates

Known as starch, are mainly found in grain products such as bread, pasta, and rice. Just like with the simple carbs, whole complex carbohydrate foods are healthier than their refined or processed counterparts. Processed carbs like white flour or rice have a lower nutritional value.

Whole grains are recommended because they still contain the essential nutrients and their fiber-rich content helps the digestive system work well.

How does the body use carbohydrates for energy?

  • After the intake of the carbohydrate, the body breaks them down into simple sugars. These simple sugars get easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • With the rise of sugar levels in the body, the pancreas releases the hormone called insulin.
  • Insulin moves sugar from the blood into the cells where it is used by the body as a source of energy.

You can prevent heart disease and diabetes by avoiding the refined versions of both complex and simple carbohydrates.

Unprocessed foods like vegetables, oatmeal, fruit, and whole-grain bread can keep your blood sugar levels stable and help maintain your energy levels all day. Redefine your diet to include more whole foods and start feeling the difference.

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