Carbohydrates have gained reputation for the past five years. In the category of fad diets, carbs are the most dreaded food. However, some are regarded as healthy and are mostly associated with lowering the risk of various chronic diseases. Type 2 diabetes and heart disease are some of the chronic diseases that can be avoided by simply taking into account the amount of good carbs you consume daily.
Are Carbs good or bad to your health?
The answer to the question whether carbs are good to the body or harmful is that they are both and the only good thing about the carbs is that you can easily distinguish between those that are useful and those posing threat to the general health of the body.
To get the most out of carbohydrates, it is vital that you choose the fiber-rich ones. These are important to t5he body in the sense that they are slowly absorbed into the body system thereby by lowering the amount of sugar in blood. Examples of useful carbohydrates include vegetables, beans, whole grains and fruits.
In order to cut down on the bad carb risk we are required to ensure that we consumer fewer amounts of processed and refined carbohydrates which tend to lack the needed fiber. Foods like white rice and white bread fall into the category of bad carbs and therefore should not be consumed in large quantities.
Benefits of carbohydrates
The reason why carbohydrate is important is that they contain the most needed fiber. Fiber in this case is the part found in plant food, which is hard for humans to digest. Although fiber cannot be absorbed into the system, it plays a very important role in the body.
Research done by the National Academies Institute of Medicine in 2002 suggested that in order to keep off certain chronic ailments, there is need for people to focus most of consumption of fiber-rich carbs. The report further gave recommendations as follows:
- In order to reduce the risk of chronic health conditions, an adult person should derive his or her daily calorie intake of between 45% and 65% from carbohydrates, Between 20% and 35% should be obtained from fat while the other 10% – 35% from protein-rich foods.
- The best way to get fiber is by feeding on plant foods. Fruits and vegetables are the best source of high quality carbs which are rich in fiber. According to proven studies, low-fiber diets are known to increase the risk of chronic health conditions.
- It has also been proved that eating foods rich in fiber helps t protect one from developing cancer of the colon and can assist in the management of weight.
The report further recommends that:
- Men at the age of 50 or below should consume 38 g of fiber daily
- Women in the same age bracket require 25 g of fiber daily
- Since when w advance in age our bodies require fewer amounts of calories and food, men above 50 require 30 g of fiber daily while women should consume 21 g of fiber daily
The fact that fiber reduces the speed at which other nutrients like carbohydrates consumed during a meal are absorbed into the system; it helps regulate the level of blood sugar in blood. This is important in the sense that it reduces type 2 diabetes risks. There are certain types of fiber mostly found in beans, oats and some fruits which help to bring down the level of cholesterol in the blood. In addition, fiber keeps you feel full and therefore reducing the amount of food you need to consume in order to get satisfied.
Top 6 Carbs for weight loss
Generally, good carbohydrates are those found in plant foods. This type contains high amounts of fiber, minerals, vitamins and most importantly, phytochemicals. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans are some of the best sources of good carbs. The good thing about carbs is that it is easy to distinguish between bad and good without necessarily looking at the fiber content with an exception of the naturally low-fiber foods like low-fat milk or skimmed milk.
The list below contains 6 highly rated sources of good carbs for weight loss:
Quinoa – This is low in sodium and cholesterol. Most importantly, quinoa provides the body with the needed phosphorus and magnesium as well as manganese.
Grains – Whole grains are rich in fiber and nutrients and therefore very important for weight loss. Food that contains high levels of fiber tends to be low in calories, takes time to chew, takes longer to digest and therefore keeps you full for a long time. Whole grains contain vitamins that help in to regulate metabolism and protects you against weight gain.
Beans – When it comes to weight loss, beans are very important considering the essential nutrients contained in them. These nutrients keep you full for a long time. However, it is good to note that not all beans are good for weight loss. So moderate their consumption and always go for the leguminous ones
Oats – Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber which helps to control absorption of cholesterol by the body. Thus, two servings of oatmeal provide the body with the needed 3 grams of soluble fiber to lower the level of cholesterol by 2%.
Pasta- Whole-wheat pasta provides the body with more fiber (3 times) than processed and refined varieties. You can opt for brown rice or whole-wheat bread as the healthier choices
Barley – This is available in two types – pearled and parboiled. Although they are both rich in soluble fiber, the former has more.