How Some Carbohydrates
Cause Belly Fat
Carbohydrates are an essential nutrient and critical to the healthy functioning of the human body. You’d think they’d receive plaudits for their important role in human nutrition, but carbs don’t get any respect. They are often smeared in the press and wrongly accused of causing the obesity epidemic sweeping the western world. In fact, carbs can be used properly and support health, or they can be abused and increase belly fat. Understanding the different kinds of carbs will help you learn how to integrate carbs into a healthy, slimming diet.
What Are Carbohydrates?
A major nutrient, carbohydrates are the main contributor of the body’s energy. They fuel your brain, your heart, your lungs and the physical activities you undertake throughout the day.
When carbs enter the body, they are converted in glucose. Glucose is like the gasoline that powers the basic functions of the human body.
Sugar, Starches and Fiber
Different types of carbohydrates affect the body in different ways. Carbs can be broken down into sugars, starches and fibers.
Simple sugars can be converted quickly into glucose, which will then raise blood sugar and cause what is known as a “sugar high.”
Sugar highs are often followed by crashes, which can cause tiredness and hunger. These simple sugars are often found in sweets loaded with calories and few nutrients.
Starches and fiber are much more beneficial to the body. Starches break down into glucose more slowly, and do not cause the sugar rush of simple carbs.
Fiber cannot be broken down and instead helps you feel more full. Fiber also aids in digestion.
Refined vs. Unrefined Sugar
It is also important to make a distinction between unrefined and refined sugars.
Fruits often contain simple sugars, but because these sugars are unrefined, they include important micro-nutrients that the body requires for optimal functioning.
Refined sugars are simple carbs that have been stripped of all nutritious content. These are the sugars most often used in cakes and cookies and other high-calorie sweets.
Eating products that contain a lot of unrefined carbs will pack on the pounds and keep that gut growing.
Carb Weight Gain
Overeating any type of carbohydrates will contribute to an overload of energy. If you do not burn these calories through exercise, the body will have no choice but to store the excess energy as fat.
By themselves, they do not cause belly fat, but overeating and under-exercising will undoubtedly increase belly fat.
Don't Restrict Carbohydrates Either
Several recent diet crazes, such as the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet, claim that significant weight loss can be achieved through severely restricting carbohydrate consumption.
These diets fail to differentiate between the different kinds of carbohydrates.
Restricting consumption of this important food nutrient can leave a subject feeling weak and hungry throughout the day, which is why few can maintain this regiment. These diets have since faded in popularity.
Winning with carbs is all about eating the right type of carbohydrates. Food that comes in a box or in packaging often contains significant amounts of refined sugars.
Seek out complex carbohydrates, such as those found in vegetables, oats, whole wheat and whole grain breads, pastas and rice.
Eat small servings of fresh fruit throughout the day and try to pair your fruit with more complex carbs.
Most importantly, remember that too much of any type of food is not good for the body.
Make sure you are eating in proportion to the energy you are burning throughout the day. Carbs give your body energy – use it or gain it as belly fat.