Carbohydrates are one of the 3 essential macronutrients in your diet (fat and protein being the others). Carbohydrates represent the most important source of energy for the body and are vital for a varied and balanced diet.
Carbohydrates once considered a basic food group and an essential part of a meal, have acquired a bad reputation in recent times because of diet fads and trends.So it is important that you understand this misunderstood yet vital constituent of your diet which is packed with goodness if used the right way.
Types Of Carbohydrates
There are 3 types of carbohydrates that are part of your regular diet.
1 . Sugars: these include natural sugars from fruits, milk as well as added sugars.
2 . Starches: these include a large part of your diet like rice, beans, potatoes, bread, pasta, biscuits, grains also known as complex carbohydrates
3 . Fiber: this is the indigestible part of the plant, grain, and fruit.All dietary fiber carbohydrate is acquired from vegetarian sources.
Each of these 3 types of carbohydrates are essential for your body; each provides vital nutrients that are required for the functioning and well-being.
The average adult needs about 130 grams of carbohydrates every day, which means about 45 to 65 % of your diet should comprise of carbohydrates.
WAYS TO CHOOSE CARBOHYDRATES WISELY
While it is essential to have carbohydrates in each meal, choosing the ones that are good for you is even more important. Here are simple ways to help you choose your carbohydrates wisely:
1 . Reduce Over-processed (Refined) Carbohydrates
-White Bread, white sugar, maida, pasta, chips, French fries, white rice, highly polished dals, are all over processed carbohydrates.
-Over processed carbs, contain more sugar and starch, increase weight and blood sugar level and are without the beneficial fiber that helps digest and expels the excessive amounts from your body.
-Switch instead to the brown varieties of rice, pasta, bread, sugar, sweet potato; opt for baked potatoes instead of fried, select unpolished dals for a healthier dose of carbs.
-The rule of thumb is white carbs are bad, brown carbs are good.
2 . Introduce Super Carbohydrates
-Super carbs are seeds or grains with very high percentage of carbohydrates, which are slow to digest, thereby keeping you full and energetic for longer.
-Super carbs have been proven useful in weight loss.
-Options such as couscous, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, millet (Jowar, Ragi, and Bajra) are excellent for high-energy levels, reducing total volume consumed and maintaining blood sugar levels.
3 . Snack on Complex Fibrous Carbohydrates
-Complex fibrous carbs are full of fiber, the indigestible parts of the plant, act as a scrub for the inside walls of the intestine, which keeps the digestive tract healthy.
-Generally, green vegetables are full of complex fibrous carbohydrates and packed with other nutrients that are good for you.
-Switch to carrot sticks, cucumber sticks for a healthy evening snack.
-Asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, bell peppers, okra are great sources of fibrous Carbs, and a yummy way to stay healthy.