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 include 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) increases based on carbohydrate intake. The higher the GI number, the more blood sugar increases.
The Farrell's nutrition plan is designed to supply members with a low glycemic load that keeps them in “burn mode” throughout the day, preventing cravings and having too much food.
5 Effects of Too Little Carbs
Carbs are an important macronutrient. Eliminating or reducing carbs from your diet can have some side effects that we’ve shown below.
1. Energy Loss & Fatigue—Carbs are our primary fuel source. Not eating enough healthy carbs decreases 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 people who are active, exhaustion and energy loss will settle in quickly and long-term effects could mean decreased 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 make sure you’re eating enough healthy fiber, or “roughage” as they used to say, to be regular.
3. Mood Changes—Carbohydrates have been linked to the release of serotonin in the brain, which is the chemical responsible for making us feel happy. Too few healthy carbs can mean a decline in serotonin levels, possibly producing 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 natural metabolic process. 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 creates ketones for a fuel source. If you’re eating a balanced diet, this won’t be a problem and your body becomes accustomed to to your levels. Where ketosis can become dangerous is when your body accrues 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 confirm you’re still getting enough of what your body has to have to work 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 exhausted. Eating carbs high on the glycemic index can cause a hike in blood sugar because they are quickly broken down versus carbs that are high in fiber that digest at a less rapid pace, discharging energy over time. When this spike occurs, our bodies release hormones to adjust blood sugar, which causes the crash. Carbs that are complex and high in fiber will help prevent 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 put you at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Eating the right portion size is essential for decreasing the risk of having type 2 diabetes. While carbs, and the sugars from carbs, are vital for your body to work normally, they need to be the right size for what is needed. An overabundance of sugary drinks and foods is what puts you at risk.
Adding just one serving of a sweet soda to your diet daily ups 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 a number of additional concerns like stroke, heart disease, and sleep apnea. Eating too many carbs, like any macronutrient, means we have an excess in our bodies. When we have this overload, our body stores the excess as fat.
When preparing meals and grocery shopping, make a habit to take a look at the nutrition label. Don’t buy foods that have added sugar and sweeteners and drink water in place of sugary drinks and sodas.
If you’re applying your Farrell's nutrition plan, you’re already receiving the right, balanced nutrition your body needs to work 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, get in touch with one of our locations or join our next session to have a real fitness transformation! We also offer a free week of fitness classes!
- Everyday Health