You might have generally come across the words like “Low carb diet”, “Low carb foods” etc, in certain products you buy on a daily basis, or some advertisements selling you the idea of having low carb foods for losing weight. Oftentimes, Carbohydrates are shown as a bad nutrient for the body, but wait….
“Do you really have the right knowledge of what form of carbs is good or bad for your health, before believing these advertisements for your health?
So, here we are today to help you understand more about carbohydrates and their importance in your daily diet.
In this article, we will be talking about “What are Carbohydrates”, “What is their importance in a diet”, “What levels of Carbs intake is good?”, “Which healthy Carbs should be included in your diet?” etc.….
So, let’s get started,
What are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates also known as “Carbs” are a type of micronutrient required by the body for energy. These are basically of three types broadly defined as Starch, Sugars and fibres found in plant and animal-based products consumed on the daily basis.
- Sources of Carbohydrates:
Carbohydrates are generally derived from both plant and animal sources. The difference lies in terms of fibre intake. Plant-based carbs are high in fibers, whereas animal-derived carbs do not contain fibres.
Here are some examples of foods containing carbs derived from plants:
Beans and Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, and black beans, etc.
Vegetables such as broccoli, corn, and Lima beans, etc.
Whole-grain foods such as brown bread, brown rice, whole wheat bread, oats, and quinoa, etc.
Fruits such as apples and berries.
Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, peanuts and pumpkin seeds, etc.
Animal sources include milk, dairy products, and meat.
- Types of Carbohydrates:
Carbs are basically of two types in terms of digestion inside the body i.e. Simple and Complex.
Simple Carbohydrates consists of Monosaccharides (single unit of sugar like Glucose) and disaccharides (two sugar units bonded together like lactose made up of glucose and galactose).
They carbs are easy to digest, provide you with instant energy and are abundant in the modern lifestyle as added sugar compounds mostly contain simple carbs it. Examples include sugars, candies, and extra added preservative drinks available in the market.
Complex Carbohydrates consists of polysaccharides (starch and glycogen which are made of thousands of sugars combined together). Complex carbs are tough to digest and take time to break down in the body.
They are considered to be a healthy forms of carbs providing proper balance to the diet. Examples include food that contains fibers like vegetables, whole wheat bread, oats etc.
- Recommended level of Intake of Carbohydrates:
According to FDA, the recommended amount of carbohydrate intake should be 200 calories or 50 grams per 2000 gram of calories daily diet. One should generally consume 45-65% of their total calories in the form of carbohydrates.
- Effect of Carbohydrates on your health:
- Provides Energy:
Carbohydrates are fuel for your body. Whatever carbs we consume is converted into simple sugars like glucose entering the bloodstream known as blood glucose. This glucose provided energy to different parts of the body like the brain, liver and muscles.
So whatever energy you require for walking, jogging and doing certain physical activity is provided by consuming carbohydrates in your diet. So, yes carbs are important for you.
- Provides protection against diseases:
Some studies have shown that whole grains are known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fibers are known to protect against obesity and Diabetes Type-2.
- Provides check of weight:
Yes, fiber intake can be helpful in reducing weight, as fibers are known to keep you full and reduce overeating. Fiber intake helps in low-calorie intake keeping weight gain in check.
So, overall the basic bottom-line is “Carbohydrates” are necessary and good for health. It all depends on how wisely you choose what amount of Carbohydrates you want to keep in your diet to maintain good health. So choose wisely.
I Hope, this article was informative and helpful in understanding “Carbohydrates” a little better.
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