Carbohydrates contribute the most amount of the energy intake of the individuals. One of the reasons is that our staple foods are rich in carbohydrates. All plant foods including cereals, legumes, fruits & vegetables provide ample amounts of carbohydrates.
Carbohydrate is a macronutrient which is a source of energy for the body, this is the main function of the carbs. Nowadays people are confused when it comes to carbs and what to include and what not to include in the diet, there is confusion regarding if one should include carbs in the diet or should avoid it completely. It is very important to create a balance in diet and not to exclude any food group completely.
Simple carbohydrates like sugar break down easily and get absorbed quickly and often lack fiber whereas complex carbohydrates like whole grains, legumes break down slowly and are rich in fiber therefore we can say that simple carb is bad whereas complex carbs are good for health.
When it comes to choosing carbs you should keep these tips in mind :
- Choose and include whole grains in diet like Whole wheat, broken wheat (dalia), oats, barley, etc in your diet.
- Choose whole fruits and peel them as thin as possible.
- Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet as it is a good source of carbs and not only rich in vitamins and minerals but also provides fiber.
- Include bran in your diet and try not to sieve your flour.
- Include beans in diet, it is not only rich in proteins but also a source of complex carbohydrates.
- Do not include refined cereal in your diet like maida or refined flour and its products like white bread, pasta, pizza base, buns, etc.
- Do not include white table sugar in your diet instead go for healthy alternatives like jaggery or brown sugar, which should also be consumed in small quantities.
- Avoid packaged processed food items as it might contain bad carbs in hidden form like corn syrup, cornflour, maida, etc as these are often used as thickening agents.
- Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages like colas, Pepsi, tetra pack juices, etc.
- Cut down on pastries, cakes, and cookies as it also contains bad carbs.
Include more natural food items instead of going for processed food items whenever possible. Including complex carbs in the diet provides dietary fiber which helps in the regulation of bowel movements. It is beneficial in protecting the body from colorectal cancer, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, and constipation. It also helps to regularise blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels as well as help to prevent and controlling diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
No food group is bad, it is what form you choose. One should never eliminate anything completely from the diet, instead always consult a health care expert for proper guidance.