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November 10, 2021
As children, we learn about it in school. As adults, we try to cut back on them. They are an important food group and part of a healthy diet – carbohydrates. Called as such due to the carbon, hydrogen and oxygen they contain, carbohydrates are one of the three main ways the body obtains energy, or calories. The body requires a large amount of macronutrients as they are essential for proper body functioning. Carbohydrate needs to be obtained through diet because the body cannot produce macronutrients on its own.
Foods high in carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet. They provide the body with glucose, which is then converted to energy. This energy is used to support bodily functions and physical activities. The most common and abundant forms of carbohydrates are sugars, fibres, and starches. And they are found in a whole range of foods, from vegetables, fruits and beans to unhealthier sources such as white bread and pastries.
When it comes to carbohydrates in your diet, what’s most important is not how much you consume, but rather the type of carbohydrate you choose to eat. Some sources are healthier than others but why is that so?
The glycemic index measures how quickly and how much a source of carbohydrate raises blood sugar. It classifies carbohydrates based on these measures. High-glycemic foods such as white bread or pastries raise blood sugar highly and rapidly, while low-glycemic foods like whole oats raise it gently and to a lesser degree. The index measures on a scale of 0 to 100.
Foods that have a high glycemic index have been linked to an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, age-related macular degeneration, infertility and colorectal cancer. With both types of diabetes, faster glucose release from high GI foods leads to spikes in blood sugar levels. The slow and steady release of glucose in low-glycemic foods helps maintain good glucose control. Low-glycemic foods also tend to foster weight loss.
It is a great tool that can be used to promote better blood sugar management. However, your diet should not depend on the glycemic index alone. Rather, it can be a general guide.
They may be an essential part of a healthy diet, but not all carbohydrates were created equal. How do you tell the difference between “good” carbohydrates and “bad” carbohydrates?
Well, to put it simply, “good” carbohydrates are good for you. They are processed more slowly and contain a bounty of nutrients. A simple checklist for determining if a source of carbohydrate is “good” – low or moderate in calories, high in nutrients, devoid of refined sugars and refined grains, high in naturally occurring fibre, low in sodium, low in saturated fat, and very low, or devoid of cholesterol and trans-fat.
Whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables keep you healthy by providing you with vitamins, minerals and fibre, but a healthy diet should also include “good” carbohydrates, ones with a low glycemic index. Opt for brown rice, bulgur, wheat berries, whole wheat pasta or another whole grain with your dinner, instead of regular rice. Alternatively, you can choose to eat whole fruits instead of drinking juices.
When in doubt, simply reach for a box of AMAZING LOKARB™ rice or noodles, and indulge in a naturally gluten-free, zero glycemic index meal. They are the perfect companion for someone who understands that health is a priority.
Everyone needs to eat carbohydrates, but that doesn't mean you should fuel up with cookies, candy, and potato chips. Yes, those late-night snack options and many other foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages, white bread, and pastries fall under the “bad” carbohydrates category. These foods rarely have any nutritional value. They have what is known as “empty calories”. Foods and drinks that contain no significant nutrients but are high in calories are said to have “empty calories”. Learning about how to recognise types of empty calories can help you make more healthful food choices.
The right type of carbohydrates can be incredibly good for you. They are necessary for your health and carry a variety of added benefits. Knowing the difference between “good” and “bad” carbohydrates can serve a great purpose in helping you to design the best diet for yourself. Do not choose to just go for a low-carb diet, take it a step higher and refine your diet to include more “good” carbohydrates as well. A low-carb diet may be good for the short term, however understanding the right kind of carbohydrates and incorporating them in your diet will prove to be more helpful in maintaining a healthy weight in the long run!Visit AMAZING LOKARB™ today to find out how you can create tasty and healthy meals with low-carbohydrate rice and pasta now.
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