Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred energy source and are one of the three main macronutrients it needs to function properly. If they are consumed in moderation carbs can provide your body with energy and multiple nutrients. However, excessive consumption of carbohydrates has a number of disadvantages and in this article I will be discussing four of these.
1) INCREASED BODY FAT LEVELS:- When you eat carbohydrates your body breaks them down into glucose and releases it into the blood. Any cells that require energy can take this glucose from the blood. A small amount of excess glucose can also be stored by your cells as glycogen. However, once these glycogen stores become full any remaining glucose is stored as fat. By eating too many carbs you promote increased fat storage because your blood glucose levels are always high, your glycogen stores are always full and therefore excess glucose gets stored as body fat.
2) INCREASED LIKELIHOOD OF CONTRACTING TYPE 2 DIABETES:- Type 2 diabetes is a condition that develops when your body fails to produce enough insulin or your cells start to resist it. Eating too many carbohydrates can increase your chances of contracting this disease in two ways. First, as I highlighted above eating too many carbohydrates causes increased fat storage. Fat cells have less insulin receptors than muscle cells which means the more body fat you have the less responsive you are to insulin. Secondly, if your blood glucose levels are constantly elevated as a result of eating high levels of carbs, your pancreas has to respond by producing more insulin. Forcing your body to produce high levels of insulin is often damaging in the long term and can ultimately inhibit your pancreas’s ability to produce insulin.
3) INCREASED HUNGER LEVELS:- Eating too many carbs causes a large, sudden increase in your blood glucose levels. Your body responds by releasing high levels of insulin which causes a large, sudden decrease in your blood glucose levels shortly after. As a response to these low glucose levels your body sends out hunger signals. The overall effect is that you experience hunger pangs shortly after eating a big serving of carbohydrates even though you have eaten more than enough to provide your body with energy.
4) INCREASED RISK OF CELL DAMAGE:- Consuming excessive levels of carbohydrates on a regular basis can lead to high blood glucose levels. This has a number of negative implications on your body’s cells as high blood glucose levels can damage your nerves, your blood vessels, your heart, your eyes and more.
I hope this article has made you aware of the possible dangers associated with consuming high levels of carbs. My intention is not to put you off carbohydrates completely but to make you keep an eye on your intake. If you consume carbohydrates in moderation you can avoid the negative side effects discussed in this article and provide your body with the energy it needs. When choosing your carbs go for fruits and vegetables so that you can provide your body with a variety of nutrients too.