While on a weight loss program you might have heard several times that carbs and fats should be eliminated from your diet. The two food groups have gained a bad reputation in the past. Many people think that the two nutrients carbohydrates and fats can make you gain weight. However, this is not the truth. A well-balanced diet is important for a healthy weight loss. Fats and carbs are both macronutrients which provide energy to the body and should be included in your daily diet. Just as we distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fats, in a similar manner we must carefully chose between simple and complex carbohydrates. In the following article we will talk about the difference between two types of carbs and their role in weight loss.
The role of carbohydrates:
First let us understand the role of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are sugar molecules which the body breaks down into energy. The most important sugar molecule (glucose) provides the body’s cells with energy. The human brain relies on glucose and if it does not get enough you start feeling low, inactive, sleepy, sluggish and confused.
Difference between simple and complex carbohydrates:
Complex carbohydrates should be a part of healthy balanced diet. The more complex the carbohydrate is, the better it is. Complex carbs offer several health benefits like boost the mood, weight loss and also help in managing the cholesterol levels. Complex carbohydrates are carbohydrates that generally come from whole grains. Brown rice, sweet potatoes, beans, legumes, quinoa, barley, starchy vegetables and oats are some of the examples of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are not at all fattening; therefore they can be included in your weight loss diet. They are full of dietary fiber, vitamin B and minerals. Human body needs complex carbs for energy and fiber. Rich in fibre they help in managing the blood sugar levels and promote digestive health.
On the other hand, simple carbohydrates are quickly broken down by the body and then used as energy. A diet high in simple carbohydrates can increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. While carbs and the sugars from these carbs, are essential for the proper functioning of the body, one has to be careful about the portion size. Excess intake of refined carbohydrates and sweetened beverages is what puts you at a higher risk of developing diabetes. These carbs have added sugar and no fibre.
Eating too many refined carbs or high glycemic carbs like baked stuff, white pasta, white breads, pizza dough, white rice, white flour can lead to weight gain or obesity. Also, refined carbs remove all the fiber content from the grains.
Delhi-based nutritionist Monisha Ashokan said, “Let’s break the biggest myth that carbohydrates are bad. Carbohydrates are essential for the body. In case of lack of carbohydrates protein is broken down for the energy requirements of the body rather than for their main purpose of body building and repair. To maintain good health 60% of our energy needs to come from carbohydrates. However, we need to make sure that we eat complex carbohydrates like whole wheat cereals, whole pulses, high fiber fruits and vegetables and legumes. Simple carbohydrates like refined flour in the form of biscuits, breads, cakes, pastries, burgers, pizzas and pastas need to be avoided. They raise the blood glucose level rapidly; hence the fat content in the body.”