DON’T FEAR CARBS

Nowadays, We, all have heard many times, “Eliminate carbs from your diets for weight loss.” Is this true! Absolutely not. Today we will discuss this hot topic.

WHAT ARE CARBOHYDRATES?

Carbohydrates are defined as polyhydroxy aldehydes or ketones or substances that produce such compounds when hydrolyzed. Ok. Ok. let me explain it in simpler language. Carbohydrates are nutrients that supplies energy so that protein can be used for growth and maintainence of body cells. 1 Gram of carbohydrates provides 4 kcal.

FUNCTIONS OF CARBOHYDRATES IN OUR BODY?

  1. Carbohydrates are major sources of energy for all the body cells.
  2. They have protein sparing effect.
  3. They help in excretion of toxins.
  4. Carbohydrates act as precursor to several compounds.
  5. Non-glycemic carbohydrates are beneficial for the functions and physiology of gastrointestinal tract and thus have a positive effect on total health.

SOURCES OF CARBOHYDRATES

Cereals, sweet potatoes, potatoes, beetroots, corn, bread, sugar, colocasia, milk and milk products.

TYPES OF CARBOHYDRATES

3 main types of carbohydrates are-

  1. Sugars= Sugars are sweet, short chain carbohydrates. For example- glucose, fructose, galactose, sucrose.

2. Starches= Starches are long chains of glucose molecules.

3. Fibre= We cannot digest fibre. But it is very important for gut health.

Other types of carbohydrates-

  1. Whole carbohydrates = Whole carbohydrates are minimally processed and contain natural fibre. For example- vegetables, quinoa, potatoes, oats, beans, whole grains, legumes etc.
  2. Refined carbohydrates = Refined carbohydrates are processed and have their natural fibre removed or changed. For example – refined wheat flour, refined sugar etc.

Therefore, after reading about carbohydrates, its functions and its types, we know how important carbohydrates are. Carbohydrates do not lead to weight gain unless and until we consume them in large amounts. So required amounts of carbohydrates do no harm. Moreover, Quality of carbohydrates is of much importance. Avoid refined carbohydrates like maida, white sugar etc and focus on healthy, high fibre carbohydrate sources. Moreover, dietary fibre is made up from carbohydrates. Both soluble and insoluble fibres are beneficial for weight loss. Carbohydrates also helps to keep gut bacteria healthy. Gut bacteria feeds on fermentable carbohydrates. Low carb diet cuts down the food sources for good bacteria, thus making our gut unhealthy. Thus carbohydrates are very important part of our diet. We should not eliminate carbs as cutting carbs can also effect performance. Thus, whats most important is the type of carbohydrates you eat and getting a balanced diet thats right for your needs.

WHAT WE SHOULD DO ?

  1. Eat carbohydrates in their natural, fibre rich form.
  2. Avoid carbohydrates without fibre.
  3. Don’t label carbohydrates as good or bad. Label them as whole or refined. Avoid refined carbohydrates and adopt whole carbohydrates.
  4. About 50 – 60 % of our total calories should come from carbohydrates.
  5. Don’t develop sense of guilt or anxiety for carbohydrates. Enjoy them guilt free. For Customized diet plans, contact: Neena’s Diet Clinic Dietician Neena Mscdfsm Course in low FODMAP Diet for IBS from Monash University, Australia Life member of IDA Mobile number – 9888226150

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