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 contain 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) goes up based on carbohydrate intake. The higher the GI number, the more blood sugar goes up.
The Farrell's nutrition plan was created to give members a low glycemic load that keeps them in “burn mode” throughout the day, preventing cravings and eating too much.
5 Effects of Too Little Carbs
Carbs are an vital macronutrient. Cutting out or limiting carbs from your diet can have some side effects that we’ve outlined below.
1. Energy Loss & Fatigue—Carbs are our primary fuel source. Not eating enough healthy carbs limits 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 negative, but for people who are active, fatigue and energy loss will happen quickly and long-term effects could mean reduced performance.
2. Constipation—Our dietary fiber comes from complex carbs and is essential for bathroom regularity. A low-carb diet could cause constipation, so it’s important to make sure you’re eating enough healthy fiber, or “roughage” as they used to say, to stay regular.
3. Mood Changes—Carbohydrates have been linked to the release of serotonin in the brain, which is the chemical that makes us feel happy. Not enough healthy carbs can mean a decrease 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. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, hunger, weakness, and difficulty speaking.
5. Ketosis—Ketosis is a natural metabolic action. If you don’t have enough glucose (energy) from carbs to burn, your body will start burning fat, which is known as ketosis. During this process, your body creates ketones for a fuel source. If you’re following a balanced diet, this isn’t an issue and your body adjusts to your levels. Where ketosis can become unhealthy is when your body builds up 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 an ample amount of what your body needs to function 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 been through it. The blood sugar roller coaster of eating too many refined carbs and then suddenly crashing and feeling sleepy. Eating carbs high on the glycemic index can cause an increase in blood sugar because they are quickly absorbed versus carbs that are high in fiber that digest at a less rapid pace, discharging energy over time. When this spike takes place, our bodies release hormones to manage blood sugar, which prompts the crash. Carbs that are complex and high in fiber will help avoid the carb spike and crash.
2. Type 2 Diabetes—While not an immediate effect of taking in too many high-glycemic carbs, a high-carb diet can increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Portion control is essential for lowering the risk of having type 2 diabetes. While carbs, and the sugars from carbs, are important for proper performance, they need to be the right size for what is needed. Excess from sugary drinks and foods is what puts you at risk.
Adding just one serving of a sweet soda to your diet daily heightens 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 make you gain weight, which could lead to becoming overweight or obese, which can lead to a number of additional issues 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 keeps the excess as fat.
When devising meals and grocery shopping, make a practice to read the nutrition label. Stay away from foods that have added sugar and sweeteners and stick to water in place of sugary drinks and sodas.
If you’re using your Farrell's nutrition plan, you’re already receiving the right, balanced nutrition your body needs to operate in the best manner 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, reach out to one of our locations or enroll in our next session to experience a real fitness transformation! We also offer a free week of fitness classes!
- Everyday Health