Carbs! Your Friend or Your Enemy.

Hi FitFam! Its blog Sunday and I’ve chosen a very interesting topic today. As a nutritionist I get an enormous amount of questions on carbohydrates or carbs as we like to call them. Ive decoded the good, the bad and the ugly side of carbs. Hope you find your answers in this article. 

Without further ado, lets dive right into it.

What are carbs?

Carbs/ carbohydrates are macronutrients. 

What are macro nutrients?

There are three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fats. Macronutrients are essential for proper body functioning, and the body requires large amounts of them. All macronutrients must be obtained through diet; the body cannot produce macronutrients on its own.

So, it’s clear that you cannot survive without carbs. 

“But Nupuur, what about low carb, zero carb, keto diets”?

Well, that’s a vast topic for some other blog Sunday.

Carbohydrates in detail

This is what a carbohydrate molecule looks like just for reference. 

Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibres found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products.Carbohydrates provide fuel for the central nervous system and energy for working muscles. They also enable fat metabolism. Also, “carbohydrates are important for brain function. They are an influence on “mood, memory, etc., as well as a quick energy source.

Types of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are divided in to 2 types, simple and complex. The simple carbohydrates give us a spike of energy or instant energy which is short lasting. On the other hand, complex give us lasting energy without a spike

It’s very smart work to understand which carbs to eat when.

 Let me simplify further. If you need a spike of energy (Eg. gym, run, heavy physical activity) you should eat simple carbs prior. If you need long lasting energy (Eg.getting through a work day) you need to consume complex carbs prior. 

Good carbs vs bad carbs

Good carbs are:

  • Low or moderate in calories
  • High in nutrients
  • Devoid of refined sugars and refined grains
  • High in naturally occurring fiber
  • Low in sodium
  • Low in saturated fat
  • Very low in, or devoid of, cholesterol and trans fats
  • Examples- sprouts, fruits, whole grains (wheat, roti, rice), pulses (dals).

Bad carbs are:

  • High in calories
  • Full of refined sugars, like corn syrup, white sugar, honey and fruit juices
  • High in refined grains like white flour
  • Low in many nutrients
  • Low in fiber
  • High in sodium
  • Sometimes high in saturated fat
  • Sometimes high in cholesterol and trans fats
  • Examples- sugar, maida, bread, cakes, juices.

Here’s a chart that will give you a clearer idea.

So friends, choose your carbs wisely. Not all carbs are created equal. Sure you can indulge every once a while. But eating bad carbs on a regular basis makes you gain weight and also makes you think that carbs are bad. So choose wisely, live healthy and stay fit. 

For free tips on weight loss, food, weight gain and weight management, you can check my Instagram page

Thank you for reading. Adios. Until next Sunday.

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