As the first month of the year ends, and the first long weekend arrives, I hope you've started working on your 2018 resolutions! I sure need to keep reminding myself.
Last week, I had a long chat with one of our regular customers about how she decided to shun wheat carbs in order to control weight. Interesting discussion! It led me to search and address a very basic question my team and I have to answer repeatedly for many customers.
Are Carbohydrates Bad For Health?
Over the last 10 years opinions have ranged widely on carbohydrates. Some diets promote carbs as healthy while others shun them. So, are carbs good or bad for health? The short answer is: they are both.
Crabs are not just found in wheat and rice but in most of the food we eat such as vegetables, bread, nuts, seeds, fruits, milk/ diary, juices and desserts.
It is important to differentiate between good and bad carbs. And fortunately, it is not as complex as it may seem.
Complex Carbs Are Good Carbs
Good carbs are also referred to as complex carbohydrates. Their chemical structure and fibers require our bodies to work harder to digest and release energy over a long period of time.
Good carbs are mostly found in food in its natural state. A general rule of thumb - closer you stay to the natural form, the better.
- Whole Grain cereals
- Whole Milk
- Green Vegetables
- Fresh Fruits
- Carrots, Tomatoes
- Almonds, Peanuts
Why Are They Good?
- Because these foods are high in fiber and nutrients
- Being complex sugars and harder to break down and absorb, means it raises your blood sugar levels slowly
- Helps you feel full with fewer calories
- Helps in weight control, by controlling appetite and delaying hunger
- Naturally stimulates metabolism
Simple Carbs Are Unhealthy
Simple carbs are smaller molecules of sugar that are digested quickly into our body. The energy is stored as glycogen and if not used immediately converted to fat.Most processed foods are generally stripped of natural nutrients and fiber to make them tastier and give instant energy.
The problem does end here, since these foods are quickly digested and absorbed in our bodies it leads to more craving and hunger.
Some examples for processed food include,
- Packaged Atta
- Most off the shelf breads
- Processed Milk (skimmed, low fat)
- Pasta, Macaroni
- White Rice
- Sugared Cereals
- Fruit Juices
Why Are They Bad?
- Because these foods are low in fiber and nutrients
- Simple sugars are easily absorbed, leading to spike in blood sugar level
- Empty calories converted to fat
- High glucose leads makes you feel hungry
Thus, answer to healthier living lies not in throwing our crabs from your diet but being selective in what you bring home and store in the kitchen cabinet.