Carbohydrates: How carbs fit into a healthy diet
Carbohydrates aren’t bad, but some may be healthier than others. Find out why carbohydrates are important to your health and which ones you choose. Let’s get to know all this important information about Carbohydrates: How carbs fit into a healthy diet in the following article.
Carbohydrates are often seen badly, especially when it comes to weight gain. But carbohydrates are not as bad as they are. Because of its many health benefits, carbohydrates must have a place in your diet. In fact, the body needs carbohydrates to function well. But some carbohydrates may be useful to you than others. Understand additional about carbohydrates and the way to choose healthy carbohydrates for a health life.
Carbohydrates are one of the major nutrients found in many foods and beverages. Most carbohydrates are naturally found in foods of plant origin, such as cereals. Food manufactures add carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of starch or additional sugar.
The natural sources of carbohydrates include:
Types of carbohydrates
There are three main types of carbohydrates:
Sugar: Sugar is the simplest type of carbohydrate. Sugar is naturally available in some foods, such as fruits, vegetables, milk and its products. Sugars include table sugar (sucrose) and milk sugar (lactose) and fruit sugar (fructose).
Read also Biochemistry of Carbohydrates
Starch: Starch is a complex image of carbohydrates, as they are made of several units of sugar mixed together. Starch is naturally found in vegetables, cereals, cooked dry beans and peas.
Fiber: Fiber is also a complex carbohydrate. Fiber is naturally found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cooked dry beans and peas.
Pure carbohydrates and glycemic index
Terms such as “low carbohydrates” or “pure carbohydrates” often appear on product labels, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not regulated these terms, so there is no standard meaning for them. The term pure carbohydrates is usually used to indicate the amount of carbohydrates in the product except fiber or with the exception of fiber and sugary alcohols.
You may also have heard about the glycemic index. The glycemic index categorizes carbohydrate-containing foods by the possibility of raising their blood sugar level.
Diets to reduce weight according to the glycemic index usually recommend limiting the foods higher in the glycemic index. Foods with the highest relative rating in the glycemic index include potatoes and corn, and healthier options such as snack foods and sweets containing refined flour. There are many healthy foods at the bottom of the glycemic index, such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products.
How many carbohydrates do you need?
Dietary guidelines for Americans recommend that carbohydrates account for 45 to 65 percent of total daily calories. So, if you get 2,000 calories a day, it should be between 900 and 1,300 calories of carbohydrates. This means you get 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates per day.
You can find the carbohydrate content of canned food on the food fact label. The nutritional fact label shows total carbohydrates, which include starch, fiber, sugary alcohol, naturally present and added sugar. These labels may also include total fiber, dissolved fiber and sugar separately. You might also be able to find food calculators online or find information on the manufacturer’s website.
Carbohydrates and your health
Despite the bad perception of carbohydrates, they are important to your health for a number of reasons.
It’s powered you.
The body uses carbohydrates as a major source of energy. Sugars and starches are broken into simple sugars during digestion, then absorbed into the bloodstream in what is known as blood sugar. Hence, glucose enters the cells of the body with the help of insulin. The body uses some glucose to get the energy that saves you to do all the activities, whether running an enemy sport or even breathing itself. Excess glucose is stored in the liver, muscles and other cells for later use or converted into fat.
Prevention of the disease
Some evidence suggests that whole grains and whole foods dietary fiber help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Fiber may also prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is also essential for achieving the best digestive health.
Evidence has shown that eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help you control your weight. Its mass and fiber content help you control weight more by feeling full of fewer calories. Unlike diets with low carbohydrates, very few studies show that healthy carbohydrate-rich diets lead to weight gain and obesity.
Choose carbohydrates wisely
Carbohydrates are a necessary part of any healthy diet and provide many important nutrients. But carbohydrates vary in how much they work. Here’s how to eat healthy carbohydrates in a balanced diet:
Focus on fiber-rich fruits and vegetables: Choose whole, fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables without added sugar. They are better choices than dried fruit juices and fruits, which are concentrated sources of natural sugar and therefore contain more calories. Full fruits and vegetables also add fiber, water and fullness, helping you feel more full with fewer calories.
Choose whole grains: Whole grains are the best source of fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium, than refined grains. Refined grains undergo a process in which parts of the grain spills – in addition to some food and fiber.
Stick to low-fat dairy products: Milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products are good sources of calcium and protein, as well as many other vitamins and minerals. However, choose low-fat products to reduce calories and saturated fat. Be aware of dairy products with added sugar.
Eat more beans and legumes: Legumes, including beans, peas and lentils, are among the most nutritious and varied foods. Legumes are usually low in fat; they do not contain cholesterol, and are rich in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. It also contains beneficial fats and soluble and insoluble fibers. Because they are a good source of protein, legumes can be a healthy alternative to meat that contains more saturated fat and cholesterol.
Reducing added sugar: Small amounts of added sugar are probably not considered harmful. However, there is no healthy benefit from consuming any amounts of added sugar. In fact, excessive added sugar, as with natural sugar in some cases, can lead to health problems such as tooth decay, malnutrition and weight gain.
So, choose the carbohydrates you consume wisely. Foods added to sugar and refined grains, such as sugary drinks and sweets, should be reduced as they are rich in calories and have little nutrients. Instead, eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.