The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories.
Excessive carbohydrate intake can affect body weight, blood sugar and increase the risk of chronic ailments. Sugar, sweets, sweet beverages and refined foods have a lesser amounts of other important nutrients, such as protein and fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are said to be energy dense and contain ‘empty’ calories. Most carbohydrate rich foods are difficult to resist, e.g. wafers, chocolates, biscuit, aerated soft drinks, fruit-based beverages, ice creams etc. Because they are palatable and often become part of social prestige and acceptance. In addition, these foods often contain a high amount of fat. The consequences of excessive intake of carbohydrates could be many, such as tooth decay, overweight, obesity diabetes etc.
Simple sugars, when consumed in excess, can easily be converted into fat and stored in adipose tissues. They can also raise the triglyceride and cholesterol levels in blood. They can raise blood sugar levels rapidly followed by a quick decrease that results in frequent episodes of hunger and overeating. Decreasing the intake of simple sugars in the form of various processed foods can help prevent weight gain on the one hand and weight loss on the other.
In summary, the consequences of excessive intake of carbohydrates on health include:
- Overweight and obesity
- Elevated blood triglyceride levels
- Increase in LDL cholesterol (especially simple sugars)
- A decrease in HDL cholesterol levels
- Tooth decay and dental caries
- Adverse effect on bone health
- Stiffness and acidity in the body
- Increased craving for sweet food.