When it comes to a well-functioning body, carbohydrate is one of the most important component to give you energy. Some people refuse to consume it, especially when they are trying to lose weight. However, is this the right thing when it comes to nurturing overall health? On this week's journal, we will be shedding some light on the importance of carbohydrate and how you can be selective of your carbohydrate intake when dieting, so you don't need to skimp on it. Read on!
What is carbohydrate?
Carbohydrate is one of three important macronutrients, aside from protein and fat, that is essential to support bodily functions. Carbs consists of three parts: sugar, starch, and fiber. While fiber is useful to aid digestion and doesn't necessary provide energy, sugar and starch do when they are broken down into glucose. They then can be utilized as energy, or stored as fat to be use for later use.
Why you should be consuming carbs
There are a lot of diets out there that are low-carb or omitting carbs completely. These diets strictly restrict carb intake and increase protein and fat consumption. Studies have shown that low-carb diet is much more effective than low-fat diet when you're trying to lose weight, improve cholesterol levels, or balancing blood sugar levels. For example, people who already have diabetes, are considered overweight/obese, or have problems with metabolism may also benefit from a low-carb diet. However, this type of diet may not be for everyone. Most of people's daily calories comes from carbohydrates, ranging from 50-65 percent. Consuming the right carbohydrates can be beneficial for your health, aside from providing you necessary energy to go through your daily activities. These benefits include promoting healthy digestive system, promoting heart health, to keeping your weight in check; all these benefits can apply as long as you're consuming the right carbohydrate.
Choosing your carbohydrates
For some people, restricting carb intake may be beneficial in reducing risk of weight gain. However, carbs are not necessarily the main culprit of obesity, as more factors are needed to be weighed in before coming to such conclusion. For example, the kind of lifestyle one lives, the metabolic rate of ones body, to what kind of carbohydrate one consumes. There are two types of carbs, unprocessed and refined/processed carbs. Unprocessed carbs, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are all beneficial for health, especially for digestion, as they are rich in fiber. Whole, non-processed carbs like these can also help improve metabolic health and lower your risk of chronic diseases. On the other hand, refined carbohydrate is highly linked to increased weight gain and diabetes, as they are high in sugar and lack in nutrients. Examples of this are sugary drinks, cakes, cookies, pastries, fries, and white breads. A lot of studies have shown that frequent consumption of processed foods or refined carbohydrates may also mess with blood sugar levels, as the spikes and dips may cause you to crave more high-carb foods.