Weight loss and Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are one of the food sources apart from fats and proteins
which form a major part of the human diet. A lot of myths , confusions and debates exist as to what carbohydrates
are good and what are bad to eat. Let us tackle the carbohydrate problem from a lay mans perspective.
Carbohydrates are the main food source which provides energy to the human body. A healthy human diet should consist
about 55-60% of good carbohydrates in their daily diet.Carbohydrates come in two categories:
- Complex Carbohydrates: are the good
carbohydrates which we should be eating. They digest slowly into our body and produce glucose slowly in the
blood. The absorption of food in the blood and production of glucose depends upon a factor called glycemic
index(GI) . The less the GI of a food , the more its better for the human body. As a thumb rule most of the
natural foods (vegetables) are complex carbohydrates. Other complex carbohydrates are oatmeal, whole grain
products. Some fruits also consist of complex carbs but some also contain simple sugars.
- Simple Carbohydrates : can be termed
as fast acting carbohydrates and should be restricted when a person is on a weight loss program. Simple
carbohydrates get absorbed very fast into the blood stream and hence produce excessive sugar which is one of
the main contributor to weight gain. Simple carbs are mostly human created and have nothing of the natural
form. The many simple carbohydrates food can be listed as cakes, pasteries, biscuits, ice creams, chocolates
and many processed sugar products. The GI of all simple carbohydrates is very high. Eating foods with a high GI
value especially processed sugar products is a major cause of diabetes.
Summary: A person trying to lose weight or
working towards good health should start incorporating complex carbohydrates in their diet and try to eliminate or
restrict to some extent eating simple carbohydrates.
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Refer to my other source of food energy sections : Proteins and Fats.
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