Eating Carbs? Find out if it’s Necessary!
Before getting started, here’s a quick explanation of “Carbs”. Carbohydrates are basically the micro-nutrients found in a food group of the food pyramid. They are usually in starches, sugars and fibers. Defining it in scientific terms, carbs are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, thus termed “Carbohydrates”.
They can be divided mainly into three groups:
- Simple Carbohydrates
Simple or starchy carbohydrates are the ones that can be found in fruits, juices, sugar, honey and such other things. They do not have a complex molecular structure. Simple carbs are actually made of sugar molecules – glucose which are considered the simplest form of carbohydrate. Simple sugars are found in foods such as sucrose in table sugar, lactose – in milk and fructose in fruits. If you are one of those freaks whose day is incomplete without a workout, it is best for you to take fruits and juices before or after a workout. This is because carbs provide you with energy that’s necessary to continue daily life activities. Simple carbs are often considered bad however not all of them actually are, in fact those in fruits and milk are very healthy. Even the products which are low in fat such as yogurt, cottage cheese and milk are considered to be healthy.
- Complex Carbohydrates
Also known as starchy carbohydrates, they are the ones everyone takes in an adequate amount. These are also of-course made up of sugars but their chemical structure is complex. Complex carbs are found in rice, grains, beans, pastas and peas. They provide us rich amount of vitamins, minerals and importantly fiber.
Complex carbs are a healthy choice but unfortunately most people eat refined carbs. Once they are refined, these carbs actually lose their healthy properties and become similar to simple carbs. This means all brown is turned into white such as white flour, white rice, cereals, pasta and even white bread. Even though foods with complex carbs are easily available but they are not always an easy choice for everyone.
In order to stay and eat healthy, complex carbohydrates should be added in your diet. This also goes for the people who regularly go to their gyms for exercise and workout.
- Fibrous Carbohydrates
Complex carbs found mostly in vegetables. They are as important to take as any other nutrient, which is why they’re recommended by medical professionals to be included in your diet. They not only fulfill the need of vitamins and minerals but also other nutrients like phytochemicals. They play the role of colon cleansers in our body and keep our digestive system running smoothly. For those of you who are working out to lose weight, it is highly recommended that a portion of your diet have these as they are healthy but also low in calories.
It is important to note here that we need carbohydrates because they are the first source through which a body gains energy to carry out usual activities. You will also be surprised to know that they provide nutrients for the bacteria inside your intestines that helps in the digestion of food. If you do not take enough of carbohydrates, your body will start using its own muscles’ protein to gain energy. So if you do not want your body to eat away at your gains, always include some portion of carbohydrates in your diet but never completely eliminate them.
Replacement of Carbohydrates
If you want to replace carbs, it is always better to replace the foods which have added sugars. Foods that are nutrient dense and have natural sugars should be taken instead.
Carbohydrates which are rich in fiber such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains can be taken to replace simple carbs. Their richness in fiber will also help you digest food. Even though they have simple carbs, these natural ones are not going to harm you as others would.
Replace carbs in your diet when you are taking enough of them already. If you have 50% of carbs in your diet, you can then replace them with meat and eggs. Fish, poultry and beef are a rich source of protein even though they do not have carbs in them.
Sugars can also be replaced by healthy and unsaturated fats. Oils, seeds and nuts are examples of nutrients rich and healthy fat foods. If you are a candy-lover, try replacing it with a handful of nuts and you will feel the difference.
To end it in a nut shell, you can replace carbohydrates but only with natural sugars but never completely eliminate them in your diet!