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Carbs are not your enemy, the way you eat them is

Updated: May 5, 2023

Carbohydrates are one of three macronutrient that make up the bulk of our diet along with fats and protein, but the most misunderstood nutrient. Carbohydrates often get a bad rap for causig us to gain weight and other metabolic diseases, but this is not a real story. Let's examine their role and bust this myth surrounding this hotly debated topic.

Types of carbohydrates

Not all carbs are created equal, they are divided into two main types

Simple carbohydrates; simple carbohydrates consist of molecule called glucose. They rapidly degraded inside the body and raises blood glucose level.

examples are table sugar, honey, maple syrup, fruits and vegetables.

Added sugar in cakes,candies and fruit juices is also simple carbs.

Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are starch and fibre. These are consist of long chain of glucose molecules and take longer time to digest, leading to a slower and more sustainable release of glucose into the blood. Examples are wholegrains, legume, fruits, and vegetables.

Why we need carbohydrates:

Primary source of energy; The main function of carbohydrates is to provide energy. Carbs are quicker to process and provide fuel to our body. Our brain consume more than 20% of total energy intake and glucose is the main fuel for brain cells. Unused glucose is stored in muscles and liver in the form of glycogen, during exerise our body uses this stored glycogen to fuel activity.

Important for Gut health; Fibre is helpful in digestion and improves our gut health. Our gut is the host of around 1 trillion microorganisms. Several studies show that these microorganisms are crucial for various aspects of our health. Dietary fibers are indigestable and feed our gut microbiota and promote growth of GOOD bacteria.

Carbohydrates helps preserve muscles mass; Carbohydrates prevent the breakdown of protein for energy and preserve muscles mass, carbs regulate insulin and other hormones that are important for muscle preservation.Insulin, in particular promote the entery of amino acids into the muscle cells, where they can be used for rpai and growth.

They influence heart diseases and Diabetes; Many carbohydrates -rich foods like wholegrains, fruits and vegetables are high in dietary fibre. Fibre ha been shown to rduce the risk of heart diseases by lowering cholesterol, improving blood pressure and reducing inflammationn. Oats and barely contain a special chemical called Beta glucan which may helps to reduce blood cholesterol levels. Fibre also helps to regulate blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

One study shows that people eating fibre based cereal have a decreased risk of colon cancer.

How much carb do we need

The amount of carb that a person needs can vary depnding on a variet of facrors including age, sex, weight, height, activity level and over all health status. In general, carbs should make up between 45-65% of total daily caloric intake and 130gm of glucose is needed for adequate supply of energy to the brain.

Why people think carbs are bad for our health

Overconsumption of simple carbohydrates like sugar, processed food, candies, fizzy drinks fruit juices and pastries can lead to wight gain and other metabolic conditions..They ae not good for our health as they are

  • Caloric dens

  • high in salt and fat

  • Less nutrient dens

These carbohydrates are linked to obesity and other chronic dieaeses as reported by studies. These carbs increase blood glucose levels rapidly and to combat this hyperglycemia, our body releases insulin. Insulin promotes glucose storage in muscles and liver and allows the entry of glucose into fat cells by converting glucose into fatty acids. long term intake of a diet high in refined carbs may cause insulin resistance and increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, sugary drinks are a leading cause of tooth decay in children and adults.

What's the answer to carbohydrates; Eating the right type of carbs with moderation.

  • Look for carbohydrates which makes you fuller for longer with minium calories like wholegrains, fruits and vegetables.

  • Watch your portion size, and try to balance them with ptotein and healty fats to help regulate blood sugar and promote satiety.

  • Avoid refined or procesed carbohydrates and limit the intake of added sugars.

  • Take note of your body; whats makes you happy and energize and what food makes you lethargic and bloated. Notice pattern of your body, adjuct accordingly and choose your carb wisely.

'Do not eat less, eat right ''.

if you are looking for recipes with healthy carbs

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