There are two types of Carbohydrates – Simple Carbohydrates and Complex Carbohydrates – also known as sugars and starches. Simple carbs are high in sugar and can cause food cravings. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take longer to digest and get absorbed in the body and thus help to keep blood sugar levels steady.
The “Good Carbs-Bad Carbs” question
Are carbs good? Are they to be avoided? Who can take more carbs and who should go for a carb-free diet?
Carbohydrates are essential for athletes as they are a great source of energy for their ever increasing energy needs. Hence carbohydrates should form a good proportion of an athlete or sportsperson’s diet. For more sedentary individuals, the carbohydrate requirement will be lesser. Some foods rich in carbohydrates are rice, oats, pasta, potatoes, fruits, vegetables and honey.
In a modern day diet, carbohydrates easily make for over fifty percent of our daily food intake, where as for our ancestors it was far less. We simply eat too much carbs! So, as a present day carbs consumer, it is important for us to choose our carbs wisely and based on our activity levels!
While including carbohydrates in your diet do take time to work out the most beneficial ones. For example, some breakfast cereals could be high in sugar content and should be avoided. On the other hand, carbs such as oats can be included in your meals as they are also a good source of protein . Oats contains soluble fiber, which reduces your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol. Fruits and vegetables are other good sources of carbohydrates.
Remember, carbs are not criminal. If you have a fear of carbs, here is a Fitmag article that deals in detail with how carbohydrates can be consumed in such a way as to be beneficial to you – ‘Carbs: Don’t Hate them. Love Them!’
Ultimately its not just about how much carbs you include in your meals but also about the food sources you choose.
“Dieting doesn’t essentially mean getting rid of carbs, and neither is that a good thing to do. Like many other things in life, in this too, be aware of the good and the bad, and practice moderation to stay healthy!”
Article Credits – Arunava Chatterjee