It is observed that people think fat is caused due to carbohydrates. However, this isn’t true. There are either bad carbs or good carbs that are present in a particular food item.
Good carbs are complex carbs and they are often digested slowly. They can be found in plant-based food items and are very beneficial for our digestive system.
The bad carbs (also known as simple carbs) are found in processed food items and they digest quickly in the blood and increase the blood sugar. These carbs make us feel hungry very often and are the reason for being overweight and overeating. Some food items having simple carbs are white bread, pastries, white rice, refined pasta, and refined dough.
Now, carbohydrates can be further divided into fibers, starch, and sugar.
Fiber as we all might know is obtained from plant-based food items. Complete digestion of fiber does not take place instead it helps our intestine in digesting other nutrients. They help us in feeling full for a longer time and prevent over-eating. Fibers are found in legumes, oats, quinoa,fruits, nuts, seeds, and green vegetables.
Starches are complex carbohydrates. They work similar to fibers and help in providing the body with vitamins and minerals. They are also found in the same foods as fibers and the main vegetables that have starch are corns and potatoes.
Now coming to sugars. Sugars are simple carbohydrates and they are digested in the blood quite easily. They cause a hike in blood sugar levels. Sugar is either natural or in added form. The interesting fact is that our body doesn’t recognize whether it’s natural sugar or added sugar. The added sugar just boosts our body’s sugar level whereas the natural sugar also provides us with important fibers and starches. The biggest myth that people have in their minds is that carbohydrates cause weight gain. But little do they know that it’s only about the type and quantity of carbs that one consumes. The only thumb rule for losing weight is consuming one cup per meal of whole carbs.
The benefits of these healthy carbs are that they provide the needed energy to your body and prevent heart disease and diabetes. They fuel several organs in the body including the brain, central nervous system, heart muscles, and kidneys. Our body also contains extra carbohydrates which are stored in the liver and muscles. They provide energy in case your body is not getting carbs. That’s how important carbs are for our bodies.
A diet that does not contain carbs can lead to fatigue, headache, nausea, constipation, mineral, and vitamin deficiencies.
After we are aware of all these good and bad carbs and how they work, the question arises how do we choose these healthy carbs.Three methods are clinically suggested by-
1). Plate method- This is considered to be one of the most powerful methods for choosing healthy carbs. What we do in this method is that we make sure that half of our plate consists of healthy fibrous food, a quarter of the plate with starch-rich food like corn and potatoes, and the last quarter of the plate should have lean protein.
2). Find replacements- We all know that cutting on carbs can be very difficult as we all are very easily used to the habits. But instead of cutting them, try to find a replacement for them.Eat whole grains like wheat,Barley,millets,amarnath,rolled oats etc.If you are a bread lover instead of white bread, you could always switch to whole grain bread.
3). Diet elimination- The idea is to cut certain food items that you eat in your daily routine by a few weeks to see which one is the culprit. For example, if you want to lose weight and you are not able to do so. Change your daily diet for a few weeks and notice the change. It might be possible that one or two food items, in particular, might be the reason that you were not able to lose some weight.
In short, carbs are needed for every human body. You should be wise enough to know which ones to go for and which ones to eliminate.