Are Carbohydrates bad for you? Or are they good for you? A question that many have debated for years and in this article, we will give you a break down of what carbohydrates are, it’s uses, pros and cons.
Carbohydrates are a source of energy for your body’s cells, Brain, Kidneys, heart muscles, central nervous system and digestive system. When consumed, your body breaks it down into glucose, also known as blood sugar. There are mainly three types of carbohydrates foods namely, sugar, starch and fiber. It also contains B vitamins that can provide great benefits.
So what are considered bad carbs?
Bad carbs or simple carbs are found in processed foods and other popular foods such as white rice, white bread, refined pasta and pastries to name a few. Many of these foods have been processed and had the necessary nutrients removed. This causes your body to digest the food faster and in turn causes a spike in blood sugar and making you feel hungry faster. This causes overeating, weight gain and could also cause diabetes and high blood pressure.
What are good carbs?
Good carbs or complex carbs are nutrient-dense sources such as whole grains, fibrous vegetables and legumes. Complex carbs are also rich in fibre which is essential in maintaining microbial balance in the gut. It also aids in controlling cholesterol levels. Complex carbs take longer to digest and thus, there is a steady release of glucose, preventing spikes in blood sugar levels.
How much carbs should you consume?
The amount of carbohydrates an individual should consume depends on their level of activeness. Those who are more active should consume more carbs as the body would need more fuel to function as compared to an individual who leads a more sedentary lifestyle. One should consume enough carbs as low carb levels could lead to headaches, fatigue, nausea, constipation and more.
So should you go on a low carb diet to lose weight?
A rule of thumb is to eliminate simple carbs altogether and focus more on complex carbs. Measure out servings of complex carbs using a single fist. Vegetables should always amount to about two fists. Try this for a month, if you start losing weight, GREAT! If you are not, remove one fist of complex carbs. Always make sure to keep carbohydrate levels at an optimum so that you have enough energy and nutrients for your body to work efficiently throughout the day!