Ask people about their secret to weight loss, and they will preen … “I do not eat carbs, except on my cheat days”, “I absolutely avoid carbs for dinner”, “I have not had carbs in months”, and so on.
All these answers lead you to believe that carbs are bad and they must be avoided at all costs. So what do you do? You consciously slash down your rice intake, and do not eat roti, idli and dosa. And do you lose weight? Maybe. But do you manage to keep up the practice? No, right?
We bet that since the time you cut down on carbs, you have become more irritable, you are unable to focus on work, and you have lost your sense of judgement. That is because your brain cannot think right without carbs. It is the carbs that help in the proper functioning of the brain cells and neurons.
But you have read this already, haven’t you? And this has been going on for a while. Some say you have to eat carbs, some say it’s an absolute no-no. Some say they are necessary, some say they are a curse. So, who do you listen to? What do you do?
Here’s what you do, you try to understand the types of carbs.
Carbs are the main source of energy for the body, the reason why they should make around 50% of our diet. Besides that, carbs also perform various additional functions like:
- Support your daily mental and physical activities
- Improve your concentration
- Spare most of the protein you consume for muscle building
- Help in proper functioning of all the organs
- Generate powerful antioxidants that protect the body cells from ageing
Now, carbs are mainly divided into two types: simple and complex.
Simple carbs are so called since they are simple, i.e., easy to digest. They enter into the blood stream faster than the body can handle, and give you an immediate sugar rush. When consumed in excess, simple carbs get converted to fat and are stored in the body. Excess intake of these carbs can also lead to high blood sugars, high uric acid, heart diseases, etc.
Complex carbs, on the other hand, are considered good, because it takes the body more time to break them down. They generally have a lower glycemic index, which means you will get lower amounts of sugars which will be released at a more consistent rate, rather than peaks and valleys. These carbs will keep you going throughout the day.
To make things easy, refer to this pyramid. Keep the base strong, letting the maximum carbs be the complex ones. So, Good news! Eat your rice guilt free. And reduce intake of the ones up top; keep them limited to once in two weeks. In short, taper the intake of carbs as you climb higher.
Like we always say, no food is bad, and neither are carbs. You just need to get a little smarter while choosing the carbs, and voilà! You will have a healthy and fit body in no time.