Can Complex Carbohydrates Lead to Fat?

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complex carbohydrates

Depending on a person’s specific glycemic index (the rate at which blood glucose is raised), complex carbohydrates can have different effects. Consumption of specific sugars has been associated with rapid obesity.

When attempting to lose weight, one group of foods that a person can monitor in particular is that of complex carbohydrates (bread, pasta, potatoes, sweets, etc.). However, many who follow a predominantly vegetarian diet that includes a high proportion of complex carbohydrates generally have an easier time trying to stay thin.

The World Health Organization recommends that 55% of total dietary calories should come from carbohydrates.

Complex Carbohydrates are Important for the Metabolism of Fat and Other Material
A sufficient quantity of complex carbohydrates is important for a person’s diet, since they are a major source of energy. Whether someone becomes overweight or not depends on, among other things, the speed with which he digests, absorbs and raises blood glucose, which is the end product of the digestion process of complex carbohydrates.

This factor is called the glycemic index (GIs). The more quickly someone can raise his or her blood glucose, the higher the glycemic index of a specific food.

Blood glucose values should remain within limits. When the blood glucose increases, the pancreas secretes insulin to facilitate its transport to cells. If insulin secretion increases sharply, due to the consumption of foods with a high glycemic index, the cells become glucose abundant.
This causes a surge of energy. However, if they exceed cellular needs, the excess complex carbohydrates simply end up becoming fat reserves in the long run. Subsequently, there can also be a significant lowering of blood glucose, that is, an uncomfortable feeling of hunger and fatigue. This creates a desire for quick sugar, creating an unhealthy dietary circle.

Complex carbohydrates, by contrast, do not cause these ups and downs. Due to its slow digestion, glucose is absorbed in a more gradual manner, and insulin secretion is also more reserved.

In individuals predisposed to obesity, these fluctuations may contribute, over the years, to creating a disorder of insulin resistance, which in its extreme form is adult diabetes, a type of diabetes that is not due to a lack of insulin secretion from the pancreas, but rather, from a loss of insulin receptors on the cell walls.

This has been linked to obesity in ways complex carbohydrates haven’t.

How to Get Complex Carbohydrates from Food

Complex carbohydrates can be obtained from honey, sugar, fruit juice. Consumption of flours rich in complex carbohydrates, as well as their derivatives, such as sweets, bread, etc.

Complex carbohydrates can also be obtained from fresh fruit, which also happens to contain a large amount of fiber. Ingestion of grains, legumes and vegetables also help to provide complex carbohydrates.

The more refined a food is, the higher its glycemic index. Refined cereal and white rice, for example, have a glycemic index that is higher than that of brown rice. If the grains are removed from the seeds and peel, your digestion is faster.

Moreover, flour increases the surface exposure of molecules to the digestive enzymes, increasing the speed with which they are digested, and this impacts the glycemic index also.

In the case of foods made with flour (bread, pasta, and breakfast cereals) the type of grinding involved with the production of the grain also affects the glycemic index. The more fine the grinding, the higher the glycemic index will be.

Breads abundant in complex carbohydrates made with coarsely ground flour, especially those containing whole grains or seeds (flax, sesame, sunflower), have a very low glycemic index.

This rule applies to pasta as well; the more soft and fine grained it is, the more elevated the glycemic index will be, so it may be better to cook the pasta similar to what Italians like to call "al dente."

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