When you think about carbs, what comes to your mind? Is it Snickers? Is it pizza or is it just a wider version of your own self? Regardless, carbs are important. They are one of the best sources of high-grade energy. But it is also important for all to distinguish between healthy carbs and unhealthy carbs. There are carbs that can cause you serious health damage. Then there’s the class of good carbs for health which helps in growth and development. For a healthier life and nutritious palate, it’s important to learn to differentiate between the two.
Healthy carbs for good health
Now, what is this deal about “rich” carb and “bad” carbs? Carbohydrates are important for our body processes. They provide us with energy. When you eat good carbs for health, it goes to your intestine and our intestine absorbs it easily. Oxidation releases the energy in your body. If energy is not currently required, but still you have eaten carbohydrate-rich food, then the carb is not kept as glucose. Glucose poses problems for storage. Which is why it converts to glycogen. This glycogen then stores in your body.
This is the carbohydrate cycle in short. But their composition is also important; carbohydrates are of two kinds: Simple Carbohydrates and Complex Carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are the bad carbs. They provide you with instant energy. But they lack all the nutrients that our body needs. Excess consumption of simple carb can faster lead to obesity.
Complex carbs are the rich carbs. They are not immediately digested in our intestine. Because of their structure, it takes time to break them up. A complex carb is rich in nutrients like protein and minerals. They provide us with energy for a long time in short amounts. Complex carbs are actually beneficial for health. To maintain a healthy BMI, we should prefer rich or complex carbs over simple carbs and also regularly practice exercise and yoga.
Food with healthy carbs
Now that you know the differences between good carbs for health and bad carbs for your body, you should know the kind of food you should eat. Prior warning! It does not include hot dogs, hamburgers or burritos.
Rich carb foods are called so because they also have proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Anything coming to mind? Yes, that’s right, we are talking about green veggies! Green vegetables are a good source of rich carbs. Broccoli, spinach, Kale, Zucchini, green peas, cauliflower, you name it. Nuts are also considered to be a good source of rich carbs. You can go for almonds, cashew or macadamia nuts if you want some nut nutrition. As for fruits, there’s the doctor’s favorite apple. You can find a whole list of them at any Pedi nutritionists.
Foods that are good sources of rich carbs actually contain dietary fiber. Our bodies don’t digest dietary fiber. They are thrown out. But they do improve our digestive system and help us stay full for longer periods of time. Apart from that, a whole grain like wheat and quinoa, which are good sources of dietary fiber also contain a healthy amount of other minerals and vitamins.
Poor carbs foods to avoid
As per the NHANES Data, by the year 2016, more than 60% of the world’s population was obese. These include both men and women. The main reason for this is our lifestyle. How often do people in the age group of 19-30 get any chance to lead a healthy lifestyle? This age group consists of prime time players. No one has the time to stop and think about the food they eat. Because they are all busy making important career choices.
Fast food franchises like McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut and Dominoes have all become an integral part of our lives. Even though these are the kinds of food we should avoid, we tend to eat them unaware of the harm they may be causing us.
Foods that are rich in carbohydrates provide you with energy. But if they do not contain other nutrients, then they should be avoided. Carb alone cannot help your body. There are many poor carbs food to avoid like starchy vegetables which include potatoes and beets, fruits like mangoes and bananas and alcoholic beverages like beer.
Daily Carbs intake for men
We don’t mean to be misogynistic here, but since most labor tasks are associated with men, it may seem that they require more carbs than women. The amount of carbs that all men must consume daily varies. It depends on the health condition of a person. For instance, a man working in the fields would definitely require carbs to sustain him. He would energy all day long. Then again, a man who works in a firm and spends his time mostly on the desk would require less carb. If a person is a diabetic, there would be serious restrictions on his/her diet. So, depending upon the occupation and health condition of a man, the amount of carbs he ingests varies.
According to the dietary guidelines set back in 2015, men falling in the age group of 19-30 require most calories. They are followed by the men in the age group 31-40. As per the standards set by the Institute of Medicine, daily carbs intake for men is between 225-325 carbohydrates daily. For the first age group, the carb need is around 450 of the total calorie intake of 3000 per day.
Daily Healthy Carbs intake for women
Too much carb intake can not only make you obese, but it can also lead to a variety of diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, frequent coughs and cold. In short, it can weaken your immunity system. This is true for all, regardless of their gender.
When it comes to women, similar guidelines apply. If you have to toil your way to earn a living, then you need a whole lot of carbs and calories. There are many women who have field duty; many women in countries like India have to work in fields and do manual labors to earn a living for their family. The daily carbs intake for women is important to consider.
As per the guidelines set in 2015, women need roughly 40-45% of their total calories to be made up of carbohydrates. This can be from 225 to about 358 grams per day. Also, women often suffer from osteoporosis. This can be for a lack of calcium in their bodies. Not just osteoporosis, there are a lot of disorders that affect primarily women. To deal with those, a balanced diet with the right amounts of protein and minerals is required besides carbs. It is not about maintaining the social standards for beauty; it is not about body shaming; it is about living a healthy and more fulfilling life.
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