Healthy eating essentially means consuming the right quantities of each food type from all the food groups. Healthy eating requires a healthy diet regimen that helps reduce the amount of food we consume and also helps a person quit the habit of eating unhealthy foods. Adopting a good diet is a responsible lifestyle choice that not only promotes good health but also helps to keep the body fit. A vital part of healthy eating is a balanced diet which means consuming foods from all groups. A balanced diet also entails taking the right quantities. Nutritionally speaking, there are 3; carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. This chapter of the book explores carbohydrates since they have a significant effect on the amount of fat in the body.
By learning about the different types of carbohydrates and how they affect abdominal fat accumulation. This information will help you choose wiser. Opting for the right carbohydrates helps you keep abdominal fat in check. This is because carbs are important in fat formation. You are probably wondering how! Quite simply, since the main purpose of carbohydrates in the body is to provide energy. Carbs are broken down into glucose which is used as energy to fuel normal body processes. Excess carbohydrates are however converted into fat (stored energy) for later usage.
Bad Carbohydrates and good carbohydrates; what is right for you?
Ever asked yourself what carbs are? They are simply molecules that contain oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. Dietary carbohydratesare of three major categories;
Starches; This type of carbohydrate consists of long chain glucose molecules which are broken down into glucose after digestion.
Sugars; This type of carbohydrate tastes very sweet, has short chain molecules. Examples of sugars include sucrose, glucose, galactose and even fructose.
Fiber; this type of carbohydrate is indigestible by human beings, it is however, very useful to the bacteria present in the digestive system.
Extensive and reliable research proves that while some people do better with lower carbohydrate intake, there is a section of the population that does just fine with consuming a large amount of carbohydrate consistently. This chapter is a detailed coverage on carbs, how they affect human health and also gives you guidance on how to make the right and healthier choices when it comes to carbohydrate consumption.
A brief but detailed look at bad and good carbohydrates
Nutritionally speaking all carbohydrates are not equal. This means they differ greatly in their health effects. Simple carbohydrates are nicknamed bad carbs while complex carbohydrates are termed ‘good’ carbohydrates.
What are simple Carbohydrates? ’bad carbohydrates’
Simple carbohydrates which are nicknamed ‘bad’ carbs are easy to digest and have no real value for the human body. Since they have a lot of sugar the fibre content is very low. The nickname is however quit misleading because there is a section of simple carbs that have real value for the human body. The section we are talking about is fruits and vegetables. Although this section of simple sugar still consists of basic sugar, they are very different from other simple carbs such as baked goodies like cakes and cookies. Common simple sugars include; table sugar, candy, baked goodies such as cakes and cookies, jams, maple syrup, honey and molasses.
What are complex carbohydrates ‘good carbs’
Complex carbohydrates are good for the body because they are made up of a longer series which takes the human body more time to break down. Most complex carbs have a lower glycemic load which means the body gets lower amounts of sugars releases over a long period of time. Instead of valleys and peaks, the body has a consistent supply of sugar which keeps you going throughout the day.
Giving bad carbs for good carbs simply involves simple substitutions when it comes to meals. Instead of white rice go for brown rice. We are living in an age when packaged foods are a part of our diet. Most people have no idea how to figure out whether a packaged food is a simple ‘bad’ or complex ‘good’ carbohydrate. Its actually very simple, just check the label to know exactly what you are eating. If it contains either whole-wheat flour or whole-oat flower, this is an indication that you are dealing with a complex carbohydrate. If it also contains fiber, it means it is more complex in nature.
Complex carbohydrates include legumes and whole grains
- Green vegetables
- Whole grains and packaged foods made from them such as pats, oatmeal and whole-grain breads
- Vegetables with starch such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes and even corn.
- Grains such as peas, lentils and beans
Who needs a low-carb diet
Before getting to who needs it, it is important to understand what a low carb diet is. A low carbohydrate diet limits the amount of carbohydrates consumed and emphasizes on the consumption of foods rich in fats and proteins. You need a low-carb diet if you need to lose weight especially if you have excess abdominal weight which as mentioned early is very detrimental to the health. You also need a low-carbs diet if you need to change your overall eating habits if you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle that reduces the chances of developing a vast majority of chronic ailments. Other great candidates for low-carbs diet include persons who are obese or overweight and in people with blood sugar imbalances.
Currently low-carbs diet have been taken to the extreme. This is not healthy. Essentially, when carbohydrate consumption increases beyond what you require for survival, intense physical activity, a person looses the ability to rely on fat burning mechanisms. Taking insufficient carbohydrates means lacking enough energy which in equally unhealthy. This is why most people need a guidance on how to a low-carbs diet the right way.