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 rises.
The Farrell's nutrition plan was created to provide members with a low glycemic load that keeps them in “burn mode” throughout the day, warding off cravings and overeating.
5 Effects of Too Little Carbs
Carbs are an essential macronutrient. Removing or decreasing carbs from your diet can have some side effects that we’ve summarized below.
1. Energy Loss & Fatigue—Carbs are our main 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 using fat. Doesn’t sound like a bad thing, but for people who are active, fatigue and energy loss will occur quickly and long-term effects could mean limited performance.
2. Constipation—Our dietary fiber comes from complex carbs and is essential for bathroom regularity. A low-carb diet may cause constipation, so it’s important to ensure 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 helps us feel happy. Not enough healthy carbs can mean a decline in serotonin levels, possibly causing 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. Signs of hypoglycemia include shakiness, dizziness, hunger, weakness, and difficulty speaking.
5. Ketosis—Ketosis is a natural metabolic action. If you don’t have ample glucose (energy) from carbs to burn, your body will start burning fat, which is called ketosis. During this process, your body produces ketones for a fuel source. If you’re consuming a balanced diet, this won’t be a problem and your body gets used to to your levels. Where ketosis can become dangerous is when your body has too many ketones from lack of energy, which can lead to dehydration and a chemical imbalance in the blood. Many individuals use a low-carb ketogenic diet for weight loss, but it needs to be balanced to confirm you’re still getting plenty of what your body requires to work 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 a spike in blood sugar because they are quickly absorbed versus carbs that are high in fiber that digest at a slower pace, discharging energy over time. When this spike happens, our bodies release hormones to adjust blood sugar, which prompts the crash. Carbs that are complex and high in fiber will help prevent the carb spike and crash.
2. Type 2 Diabetes—While not an immediate cause of consuming too many high-glycemic carbs, a high-carb diet can heighten your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Limiting your portions is essential for reducing the risk of ending up with type 2 diabetes. While carbs, and the sugars from carbs, are necessary for proper function, they need to be portioned for what is needed. Too many sugary drinks and foods is what puts you at risk.
Adding just one serving of a sweet soda to your diet each day increases 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 cause weight gain, which could lead to becoming overweight or obese, which can lead to more health problems like stroke, heart disease, and sleep apnea. Eating too many carbs, like any macronutrient, means we have too many in our bodies. When we have this overload, our body holds onto the excess as fat.
When preparing meals and grocery shopping, make a routine to review the nutrition label. Avoid foods that have added sugar and sweeteners and drink water as a substitute for sugary drinks and sodas.
If you’re using your Farrell's nutrition plan, you’re already receiving the proper, balanced nutrition your body needs to perform in the best manner and efficiently to be 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