HOW MUCH CARBOHYDRATES DOES OUR BODY NEED?
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients found in foods that provide your body with energy. Carbohydrates, protein, and fat provide calories in your diet.
Carbohydrates are mostly found in plants where they provide energy. Sugars, starches, and fibers fall into this category. And although animals need and consume carbohydrates, but you won't find any carbohydrates in meat, fish, or poultry. But you will find carbohydrates in milk and dairy products because they contain lactose, which is also a type of sugar.
We know that when we want to lose weight we limit our carbohydrate intake. But Carbohydrates are not that bad. In fact some may be healthier than others. We must know which ones to choose.
Carbohydrates usually have bad reputation, especially when it comes to weight gain. But carbohydrates aren't all that bad. Because of their numerous health benefits, carbohydrates have an important place in our diet. In fact, our body need carbohydrates to function well.
But we must learn to choose healthy carbohydrates.
We must understand carbohydrates properly
Carbohydrates are found in many foods and beverages.
Carbohydrates are found naturally in:
Types of carbohydrates
There are three main types of carbohydrates:
1)Sugar.Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrate and is found in the form of fructose,sucrose and lactose and it occurs naturally in some foods, including fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products.
2)Starch.Starch is a complex carbohydrate and occurs naturally in vegetables, grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.
3)Fiber.Fiber also is a complex carbohydrate and is found naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and cooked dry beans and peas
Weight-loss diets usually recommend limiting foods that are higher on the glycemic index. Foods which have a relatively high glycemic index are potatoes and white bread, and less healthy options such as snack foods and desserts that contain refined flours.
Many healthy foods, such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products, are naturally lower on the glycemic index.
How many carbohydrates do you need?
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates should be 45 to 65 percent of our total daily calories.
So, if we get 2,000 calories a day, between 900 and 1,300 calories should be from carbohydrates. That means between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates a day.
But if you need to lose weight, you will get much faster results if we eat around 50 to 150 grams of carbs.
The low carbohydrates diet restricts your intake of carbohydrates like sugars and starches. we must replace them with proteins, fat and healthy vegetables.
If we follow low carb diets then we will feel less hungry and so in turn will lose weight easily.
Carbohydrates and your health
Despite their bad reputation carbohydrates are vital to our health for a number of reasons.
Carbohydrates are our body's main fuel source. During digestion, sugars and starches are broken down into simple sugars. They're then absorbed into our bloodstream, where they're known as blood sugar (blood glucose).
From there, glucose enters our body's cells with the help of insulin. Glucose is used by our body for energy, and supplies fuel for all of our activities whether it's going for a jog or simply breathing. Extra glucose is stored in our liver, muscles and other cells for later use, or is converted to fat.
Protect against disease
It is known that whole grains and dietary fiber from whole foods help reduce our risk of cardiovascular diseases. Fiber may also protect against obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is also essential for optimal digestive health.
Evidence shows that eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains can help you control your weight. Their total fiber content aids in weight control by helping you feel full on fewer calories. Therefore it shows that a diet rich in healthy carbohydrates do not lead to weight gain or obesity.
Choose your carbohydrates wisely
Here's how to make healthy carbohydrates work in a balanced diet:
Emphasize fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.Aim for whole fresh fruits and vegetables without added sugar. Other options are fruit juices and dried fruits, which are concentrated sources of natural sugar and therefore have more calories. Whole fruits and vegetables also add fiber, water and bulk, which help you feel fuller on fewer calories.
Choose whole grains.Whole grains are better sources than refined grains of fiber and other important nutrients. Refined grains go through a process that strips out parts of the grain along with some of the nutrients and fiber.
Stick to low-fat dairy products.Milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products are good sources of calcium and protein, plus many other vitamins and minerals. Consider the low-fat products, to get low calories and saturated fat.
And beware of dairy products that have added sugar.Eat more legumes.Legumes — which include beans, peas and lentils are the most versatile and nutritious foods available. They are typically low in fat and high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium, and they contain beneficial fats and fiber. Legumes are a good source of protein and can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more saturated fat and cholesterol.
Limit added sugars.Added sugar probably isn't harmful in small amounts. But there's no health advantage in consuming any amount of added sugar. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that less than 10 percent of calories you consume every day should come from added sugar.
So choose your carbohydrates wisely. Limit foods with added sugars and refined grains, such as sugary drinks, desserts and candy, which are packed with calories but low in nutrition. Instead, go for fruits, vegetables and whole grains.