Rite Bite

Don’t skip out on carbs

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS - TRUPTI JAGTAP Se­nior Di­eti­cian, Saifee Hop­si­tal, Mum­bai

Car­bo­hy­drates are one of the three ma­jor macronu­tri­ents from which the hu­man body can ob­tain en­ergy, the other two be­ing fats and pro­teins. They serve as a pri­mary source of fuel for most meta­bolic ac­tiv­i­ties, and pre­vent pro­tein from be­ing used as an en­ergy source. Car­bo­hy­drates are found in foods like fruits, veg­eta­bles, breads, In­dian bread ( cha­p­ati), and dairy prod­ucts, among oth­ers, and upon di­ges­tion, are con­verted into glu­cose, a su­gar which the hu­man body can burn im­me­di­ately or store away. Over the last few years, the essence of car­bo­hy­drates has been ques­tioned by many peo­ple. Per­haps, be­cause of ‘schol­arly ar­ti­cles’ and fad di­ets that present these es­sen­tial macronu­tri­ents as un­de­sir­able for one’s health. How­ever, in re­al­ity, they are ex­tremely nec­es­sary for the proper func­tion­ing of the hu­man body, and cut­ting them out of your diet en­tirely can have some un­pleas­ant side ef­fects such as hy­po­glycemia among oth­ers. Part of the con­tro­versy sur­round­ing car­bo­hy­drates stems from the fact that there are two main types of car­bo­hy­drates: Whole carbs that are nat­u­ral and un­pro­cessed con­tain­ing large amounts of fi­bre; and re­fined carbs that are pro­cessed and have had their nat­u­ral fi­bre stripped away. While whole carbs, which in­clude po­ta­toes, whole grains, and fruit, are per­fectly healthy, re­fined carbs, which are found in foods like su­gar-sweet­ened bev­er­ages, white bread, pas­tries, white rice, can cause se­ri­ous health is­sues when con­sumed in large amounts. This is es­pe­cially so be­cause they are packed with calo­ries, but lack es­sen­tial nu­tri­ents. Here are some of the ben­e­fits of in­clud­ing whole car­bo­hy­drates in your diet:

Pre­vent­ing Weight Gain Ev­i­dence sug­gests that whole grains and di­etary fi­bre help pro­tect against obe­sity for the sim­ple fact that they have the abil­ity to sa­ti­ate one’s hunger with­out con­tain­ing too many

calo­ries. Fi­bre is slow to di­gest, mean­ing a high-fi­bre meal re­duces your hunger pangs for a con­sid­er­able pe­riod while ab­sorb­ing wa­ter in the stom­ach and in­testines. As a re­sult, car­bo­hy­drate-rich meals are ideal for any weight-loss reg­i­men, re­gard­less of what prac­ti­tion­ers of fad di­ets tend to sug­gest.

Reg­u­lat­ing Emo­tions Low blood su­gar lev­els can cause feel­ings of melan­choly and lethargy in the hu­man body, and have been sus­pected as a cause for de­pres­sion and other re­lated men­tal disor­ders for long. Car­bo­hy­drates help pre­vent this prob­lem by stim­u­lat­ing the re­lease of sero­tonin, one of the key neu­ro­trans­mit­ters that aids in reg­u­lat­ing one’s mood. Re­duc­ing The Risk of Heart Dis­ease Re­search has found that whole grains and di­etary fi­bre from whole foods help re­duce the risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases. This is be­cause they boost the blood lipid val­ues, by re­duc­ing lev­els of bad LDL and triglyc­eride. High cir­cu­lat­ing lev­els of these lipids greatly in­crease the odds of con­tract­ing atheroscle­rotic dis­eases, which can cause se­ri­ous heart prob­lems.

im­proved Di­ges­tion Com­plex car­bo­hy­drates are rich in in­sol­u­ble fi­bre, which makes them ex­tremely ben­e­fi­cial for in­testi­nal health. This is due to the fact that roughage helps food and waste ma­te­rial passes through the body, un­ob­structed. They also ab­sorb wa­ter in the in­tes­tine, which pre­vents con­sti­pa­tion and min­imises the odds of colon can­cer risk by re­duc­ing the amount of time bowel waste spends in close prox­im­ity to in­testi­nal cells.

Keep these quick tips in mind to in­cor­po­rate car­bo­hy­drates ef­fec­tively into your diet:

Em­pha­sise on fi­bre-rich fruits and veg­eta­bles.

Choose whole grains.

Stick to low-fat dairy prod­ucts.

Con­sume more legumes.

Limit the con­sump­tion of su­gar.

Re­duces The Ef­fects Of ag­ing Cut­ting out a vi­tal macro nu­tri­ent from your diet, whether it’s a pro­tein, fat, or car­bo­hy­drate, as dif­fer­ent fad di­ets would pre­scribe, is il­lad­vis­able. The key to a healthy life is to strike a bal­ance be­tween the var­i­ous food groups, and in­stead make sure that your body gets all the nu­tri­ents it needs. For this rea­son, car­bo­hy­drates will al­ways play a vi­tal and de­li­cious role in our di­ets.

Re­fined carbs, which are found in foods like su­gar-sweet­ened bev­er­ages, white bread, pas­tries, white rice, can cause se­ri­ous health is­sues when con­sumed in large amounts.

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