A type of high-carbohydrate food is often the staple food for many nations and they’re a great way of filling up and getting plenty of energy. Yet it is possibly this cost-effective way of filling yourself up that has caused so many in the Western world to rely heavily on carbohydrates. Yes, carbohydrates are a great source of energy – but a diet high in carbohydrate is giving people much more energy than they’re needing in their day-to-day lives and the potential pitfalls of a high carbohydrate diet is often said to be behind many different types of health concerns.
Here are just some of the dangers that come with having too many carbohydrates in your diet:
Weight gain may seem like an obvious thing to talk about when talking about carbohydrates but many people often over look the dangers of being overweight. An overweight body is not a natural state for humans and it puts a lot of pressure and strain on many of the functions; some of which are potentially dangerous.
Simply put, carbohydrates are representative of energy and when you’re consuming more than you’re using, you increase your stores of fat and gain weight. Being overweight adds many complications to the natural functioning of your body – some of which often go unknown because the effects are invisible.
The relationship connecting additional unnecessary weight and an increased heart attack risk is all to do with the way that the human body reacts to increased fat levels.
Usually, your body maintains a constant amount of carbohydrates ,water, fat, and protein. When you increase the amount of fat in the body, it causes an increase in sodium, cholesterol and triglycerides (a type of fat) in the blood.
This has been shown to increase the levels of Low Density Lipoprotein in the blood – also known as “bad cholesterol” – and has been shown to increase the risk of heart disease.
Excessive unwanted weight has also been shown to cause hypertension. This causes your heart to work harder in order to get oxygen around your body and that can, in itself, also lead to an increase in heart attack risk.
While the relationship between weight and health may sound frightening, simply reducing your body weight by 10% has been shown to have a massive reduction in your risk of heart disease.
What’s also important to know is that excessive carbohydrate consumption combined with a lack of an exercise is the number one cause of obesity.
Loss of Appetite Control
Excessive carbohydrate consumption can have a large impact on how well you control your appetite. So how is this dangerous? Our ancestors were not exposed to so many carbohydrates as we are today. In the times before mass agriculture, the natural human diet was largely based on meat and so there was a much more natural and instinctual approach to food and diet. In today’s era, the reliance of high carbohydrate foods is causing appetite control fluctuations and our loading up with foods that contain unnecessary amounts of energy and disrupting out natural mechanisms of diet control.
As diet is such a large contributing factor to your overall health, this distorting of our natural instinctual response to food and what food is best for us in any moment is becoming lost. Unlike other animals that often have a much greater idea of what nutrients that the need to top up on and therefore they gravitate to eating more of those types of foods, the ability for humans to discern what is important to them is being eroded as a feeling of hunger is often now taken as a need to increase the carbohydrate intake; as carbohydrates are the things that people most likely reach for when they’re hungry.
Eating foods that contain simple sugars such as cakes and candies, have been shown to cause large rises in blood glucose levels and allow us to feel fuller and satisfied whether we’ve had the essential nutrients that we require or not. This imbalance within our own appetite is causing us to miss out on many essential nutrients that are important for our health and it causes there to be a much higher risk of many other types of diseases.
Studies have also suggested that calorie intake increases by between 200 and 500 calories after a glucose fluctuation because the sharp rise and fall in glucose levels can cause you to feel hungry faster and therefore eat more than is necessary which causes weight gain.
Diabetes is one of the main dangers that can result from excessive carbohydrate consumption. That’s because fluctuating and unbalanced blood sugar levels as well as weight gain are two of the main causes of diabetes, and excessive carbohydrates are responsible for both the fluctuations and the weight gain.
4% of the nation is thought to either have diabetes or have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes which is intolerance to glucose that can result in diabetes if not corrected.
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance, and the odds of contracting it are largely based on risk factors such your weight and your deposits of fat.
There is a direct correlation between body weight and the incidence of type 2 diabetes. That’s due to the combined interaction of both fat cells and insulin. In an indirect way, all of the cells in your body need insulin to help them receive glucose. However fat cells are much more resistant to the effects of insulin and this leaves a abnormally high level of glucose in your blood. This causes damage to blood vessels, kidneys, extremities of the body, the brain and the eyes.
In a way, the excess fat in your body that has been caused by overloading on carbohydrates are practically draining away your energy, leaving you depleted. It causes more cells of the body to be fully resistant to insulin.
High Blood Pressure
Excess carbohydrates causes an increase in the amount of glucose in your blood. This excess glucose causes water from the cells in your body to leave the cells and cross the membrane into the blood stream. This increase in blood volume causes your blood pressure to increase and it makes your heard have to work harder in order to pump blood around your body.
When you think about it, the term “carbohydrate” is a mixture of the elements carbon and hydrogen. The term “hydration” gets its name from “hydrogen” and the hydration part is the way in which the carbohydrate concentration effects the water capacity of certain regions of your body.
The increase in blood pressure is detrimental to your heart and your brain and can cause larger complications. Your blood pressure can also increase if you are overweight, as we previously discussed, and therefore the effects of excessive carbohydrate intake can have many different related and combined effects that are potential dangers.
Excess carbohydrates can cause many different types of nutrient deficiencies. While these deficiencies aren’t considered to be dangerous in the short term, on a long term basis they can be harmful and can be the basis of many different types of diseases and illnesses.
Carbohydrates require vitamin B complexes in order for them to be taken advantage of in the body. However, carbohydrates such a grains have most of their B vitamins removed during the production process. Because the refined grains that you eat are low in B vitamins, and yet they still require large amounts of vitamin B in order to be unitized in the body, they end up absorbing the vitamin B that’s available in the body and deplete the body’s natural resources. This causes B vitamin complex deficiencies that can later lead to depression, heart disease, cataracts, hardening of the arterial walls, allergies, muscle cramps and fatigue.