Are you thinking about switching to a healthy diet but confused about what to eat? With so much information available online and mostly; unreliable information; It becomes hard to choose the right; options. The best way is to educate yourself about each food group, rather than looking at individual food. So let’s explore one of the most essential; food groups, carbohydrates.
What are Carbohydrates?
Carbs are a great source of fuel and are in almost everything you eat including, fruits, vegetables, grains, and even dairy. It is recommended to get 45-65% of our daily calories from carbohydrates, and when we take too many carbs and have fuel to spare, our body stores that as excess fat. There are mainly two types of carbohydrates simple carbs and complex carbs.
They are called simple; because they are; really; simple for your body to digest so, these carbohydrates are either in their simplest form already, which is a simple sugar, or; they are pretty close to it. As they are in the simplest form, they digest rapidly and; can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels. Sources mainly include white flour products, sodas, candy, and white rice.
The term complex carbohydrates refer to the structure of carbs. That is where things get a little complicated. Your body has to convert them into simple sugar first for digestion, so your blood sugar levels go up much more gradually, and you don’t have that big spike; and crash like you would get from simple carbs plus, they keep you full for, long period. The sources include mainly foods in their whole form like whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, brown rice, beans, lentils.
Simple VS Complex Carbohydrates, Which is Better?
Keeping it simple is not always the best choice for you. Complex carbohydrates maintain your blood sugar level and keep your stomach full for a longer time. So definitely, you should be eating more complex carbs in your diet, especially if you want to manage your weight or have a family history of diabetes. But it doesn’t mean you have to; totally; avoid the other type. There are so many healthy foods with essential nutrients that contain simple carbs like milk, so totally avoiding them is definitely, not a good option. You can pair them up with protein or complex carbohydrate sources like eating white rice with lentils; In this way, you can enjoy simple carbs without having harmful effects like sugar spikes. On the other side, complex carbs are good for you, but it does not mean you can eat them without thinking about the quantity. Moderation is the key, and even when consuming complex carbohydrates, you should watch out for calories and portion control. So basically; Eat a balanced diet with a good proportion of carbs coming from complex carbohydrates and don’t restrict yourself too much. If you are craving; simple carbs, go and eat a small portion with some other food containing protein or fiber and, you are good to go.