3 Health Problems that are Caused by Excess Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates form one of the major building blocks of our diets. They occur in the form of fiber, starch, and sugar in all the foods that we eat.
While all foods contain carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates such as those found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables take longer to digest than simple carbohydrates that are found in refined foods like bread, cakes, and junk food.
However, excessive carbohydrate intake, especially the intake of high amounts of simple carbohydrates can cause health problems which form the metabolic syndrome. These health problems include diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.
Type 2 Diabetes
When you consume a meal that contains carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels go up. This triggers the production of the insulin hormone by your pancreas so as to bring down the blood sugar levels.
Excess carbohydrates in your diet mean that your body constantly produces insulin which can lead to your cells being insensitive to insulin, which is known as insulin resistance or makes it impossible for your body to continue producing insulin.
When either insulin resistance occurs or your body stops producing insulin, then you develop Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes is characterized by very high blood sugar levels in the bloodstream.
The other role of insulin is to convert the sugar in your blood, which is known as glucose, into a compound known as glycogen which can be used to provide energy for the body in the future.
When you consume excess carbohydrates, your glycogen stores get full and your body has to convert the excess glucose into fat. If this process continues for a long time, this fat is stored in your abdomen and other parts of your body leading to obesity.
If you consume a diet that contains excessive carbohydrates there is a chance that levels of triglycerides or bad cholesterol will increase in your bloodstream. Similarly, the levels of good cholesterol in your bloodstream are reduced by high triglyceride levels thus increasing the risk of heart disease.
High levels of bad cholesterol can clog up your arteries causing diseases such as arteriosclerosis and heart attacks.
In order to reduce your risk of getting these diseases that are associated with excessive intake of carbohydrates, eat them in moderation. You should also choose to eat more complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables which provide energy and nutrients to your body without causing diseases.
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