Everyone wants to stay abreast with the knowledge and latest trends on how to keep fit. Online articles on food and wellness are the source of acquiring this knowledge for the modern Indian. The most common trend these days makes us believe that carbohydrates or carbs are bad or they hamper the weight loss process. To an extent yes, this is partially correct. Some carbs are bad and do hinder the weight loss process but did you know that carbs are an essential part of healthy living. If you skip carbs completely – you will feel lethargic and will not be able to sustain your weight loss journey for long.
What are Carbohydrates and why are they important?
Just like protein, fiber and fat – carbohydrates are also the main component – a macronutrient that is available in every food that we eat. Whether you eat grains, rice, vegetables, pulses, or fruits, carbohydrates are omnipresent in most of the items we consume on a daily basis. Almost, anything or everything edible food has carbs in it. As discussed above, carbs essentially provide energy to the body. However, we must understand and select healthy carbs for our daily diet.
There are 2 types of Carbohydrates:
1. Simple Carbs
Simple carbs spike sugar levels in the body immediately, which when falls causes extreme lethargy. Some examples are – white bread, sugar, honey, some fruits, pasta, refined flour, etc. After some time you will be hungry again as these get absorbed immediately in our body.
2. Complex Carbs
Complex carbs are absorbed slowly by the body and hence give a feeling of fullness for a longer duration of time, for example, whole grains, vegetables, starch, fruits like apples, etc. These are absolutely necessary for the survival of the human body. Even the strictest diets consist some form of carbohydrates and you must too.
How to Maintain Healthy Carbs Intake?
1. Every adult needs about 130-140 grams of carbs everyday in his meal but unfortunately Indians cross 250-270 grams carbs intake per day resulting in weight gain. If you eat more than what is required by the body, the body does not turn it into energy and stores it as fat.
2. Increase the amount of good carbs viz all vegetables; whole fruits like apples, bananas, strawberries, etc; nuts like almonds, walnuts, peanuts, etc; seeds like pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds; pulses like lentils, peas, red kidney beans; and last but not the least, whole grains like whole wheat, pure oats, quinoa, brown rice.
3. If your aim is weight loss, use a calorie calculator app that can calculate the grams of carbs you need to intake in a day. When you input the food that you have had, it keeps calculating and gives you a screenshot of what you have eaten throughout the day. This will give you a fair idea of how much to cut down and what kind of carbohydrates to avoid.
Limit the carbs as per your body requirement for a sustainable weight loss program, but don’t shun them completely.