Medical Video: 'Slow Carbs' and the Truth About Low-Carb Diets
Every food you consume daily has a variety of essential nutrients for the body. Among these nutrients, there are functions that contribute to the energy needed by the body in large quantities, usually called macronutrients (important nutrients). One of the important nutrients that you often find in daily food is carbohydrates. Actually, how important is the role of carbohydrates in the body? What are your daily carbohydrate needs?
What is carbohydrate?
Carbohydrates are compounds that provide energy to the body in the form of calories. Carbohydrates are divided into two types, namely complex and simple carbohydrates.
As the name implies, complex carbohydrates contain lots of sugar molecules and are rich in fiber, so they require a longer process to be digested in the body. While simple carbohydrates contain less sugar molecules so the digestive process is faster.
What are the carbohydrate requirements per day?
Carbohydrate needs per person vary every day. Gender, age, level of activity carried out, and health conditions will affect your carbohydrate needs. To find out how much daily carbohydrate needs, you can refer toNutritional Adequacy Rate (AKG) by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia.
Thus, the AKG will be used as a reference for the average nutrient needed by a group of people based on their sex and age. The following details of carbohydrates needed by men and women based on age:
- Children: 155-254 grams (gr) / day
- Age 10-12 years: 275 gr / day
- Ages 13-18 years: 292 gr / day
- Ages 19-29 years: 309 gr / day
- Age 30-49 years: 323 gr / day
- Age 50-64 years: 285 gr / day
- Age 65-80 years: 252 gr / day
- Age above 80 years: 232 gr / day
- Children: 155-254 gr / day
- Age 10-12 years: 289 gr / day
- Ages 13-15 years: 340 gr / day
- Age 16-18 years: 368 gr / day
- Ages 19-29 years: 375 gr / day
- Age 30-49 years: 394 gr / day
- Age 50-64 years: 349 gr / day
- Age 65-80 years: 309 gr / day
- Age above 80 years: 248 gr / day
But what you need to remember, the reference from this AKG must be considered according to your activity, weight, and height. So that you can know for sure your carbohydrate needs.
What are the sources?
After knowing what your carbohydrate needs are every day, it's time to find out what food sources can be consumed to meet the body's carbohydrate needs.
Most people meet carbohydrate requirements from starch sources. Starch is included in complex carbohydrates so that it takes longer to be digested by the body. These food sources include rice, wheat, bread, pasta, beans, potatoes, and corn.
2. Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are also a source of energy, containing only a few sugar molecules, which speeds up the digestive process. Like bananas, grapes, apples, oranges, broccoli, spinach, carrots.
As with fruits and vegetables, milk is also a source of simple carbohydrates. Not only milk, yogurt can also contribute calories in your body.
Benefits of carbohydrates for the body and brain
Carbohydrates are one source of nutrients that benefit the work of the body and brain because they contain glucose. Where glucose acts as the main fuel to produce energy that will be used by body cells to carry out their metabolic and biological functions. Glucose is very important for red blood cells, the brain, and other body cells.
If sufficient carbohydrates in your body do not carry out their duties properly as an energy producer, then this task will be transferred to protein and fat. Where protein and fat should have other important roles for the body, proteins that have the main function of building muscle and tissue will switch functions to glucose if there is insufficient availability of carbohydrates in the body.
What is the effect if you eat lots of carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates if consumed in excessive amounts can have an adverse effect on your body, which will cause digestive problems, blood sugar, and accumulation of calories which can lead to increased weight.
Therefore, Livestrong recommends limiting consumption only to the needs of your body. In addition, it can also be done by balancing carbohydrate consumption by doing physical activities such as exercise.