Are All Carbs and Sugars Bad For You?
Carbs and Sugars: Are they the same?
Short answer: Yes. Now that answer alone doesn’t cover the broad scope and science of how carbohydrates and sugars are one and the same. Before we parse the details between the two, let’s first look at macronutrients.
Firstly, macronutrients are known as the pillars of what our body requires to function healthily and efficiently. Three macronutrients comprise the foods we eat on a day-to-day basis: proteins, carbs, and fats. For the sake of sticking to the question, we’ll only be looking at the importance and nuances of carbohydrates (also known as sugars).
Carbohydrates are fundamentally one of the body’s primary energy sources that help support a well-rounded diet. Carbs are digested into one of three classes: sugars, starches, and fiber. Now, starches are also sugars, but a distinction is required; starches belong to complex carbohydrates, whereas sugars are simple carbohydrates. Wait, wait, wait… carbs are not only sugars, starches, and fibers but also simple and complex?
While it may seem excessive to place all these distinctions on carbs, the matter of the fact is, carbs are unique based on their molecular structure and their interactions with our physiology. To better understand carbs, let’s take a step back from the various types and focus on simple vs. complex.
Simple carbs, also known as simple sugars, are found in a variety of the foods we eat. From the milk we drink to the fruits and vegetables we enjoy, simple sugars give these food items their sweetness. These sugars are either monosaccharides meaning that the chemical structure is comprised of solely one sugar (glucose, fructose, etc.) or disaccharides, two joined sugars. Many of the processed foods we eat utilize disaccharides. Despite it being sugar, nonetheless, monosaccharides are the preferable option. Though, it’s important to note that while one is better than the other, sugar as a whole should be considered as empty calories as they provide only energy and no nutritional value.
These polysaccharides are considered a better and healthier option between simple and complex carbs. The reason for this distinction is that these types of carbs, or starches, are comprised of more extended series of sugars. The longer sugars in starchy foods take the body to digest, the more consistent release of sugars into the body. Complex carbs contain more significant minerals, vitamins, and fibers than simple carbohydrates.
Now one may look at the difference between simple and complex carbs and conclude that one is better than the other. Each type of carb, or sugars, factor towards a well-balanced diet. It’s all a matter of judgment. Do your best to avoid processed foods and low-nutrient sugars found in sweets and junk food; instead, eat the fruits and vegetables that are low glycemic in nature. In moderation, and conjunction with the other macronutrients, carbs are an ever-important pillar to a well-rounded diet.
If you are struggling to lose weight, or are looking for guidance on the proper caloric intake to facilitate a lower BMI you may consider a medically supervised diet known as the HCG Diet & Medical Weight Loss Program. Contact Vitality Aesthetic & Regenerative Medicine for more information.