If I told you I lost over 40 pounds and ate carbs like rice every single day, would you believe me? In fact, cutting carbs can be detrimental to your health! In this article I will talk about different types of carbs and help you select the best kinds that are right for you! You can watch this video if you are not into reading articles by the way! Please don't forget to subscribe :)
Types of Carbohydrates:
Monosaccharides: Single Sugar Molecules such as: glucose, fructose and galactose
Disaccharides: 2 Monosaccharides joined together to form a slightly more complex molecule such as sucrose, maltose and lactose.
Polysaccharides: cellulose, starch and glycogen.
How are Carbohydrates Digested?
When you eat any carbohydrate rich food like rice, the salvia in your mouth immediately breaks it down into smaller units. As this is happening, your food will move into your stomach and this process will stop due to the availability of harsh enzymes. Then food will move into the small intestine and using the enzymes like amylase, produced by your pancreas, will break down these molecules to disaccharides.
These molecules are further moved to your liver and that’s where they all break down to the simplest form of carbs: glucose.
Why Glucose is VITAL to our health
Glucose is the main source of energy for your body, brain and central nervous system. Some will say, it is your preferred source of energy! Keep in mind if you consumed extra glucose, it will be stored in your tissues and muscles as glycogen for later use.
Therefore, If you want to maintain a healthy diet you have to make sure you include carbohydrates in your diet.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends a minimum amount of carbohydrates to be used by an average person is 130 g/d. That's the minimum! When I calculated what my carbohydrate intake should be to lose weight, it came out to be 148 grams. If you want to know exactly how much carbs you have to consume make sure you click here.
You need carbohydrates to maintain a healthy diet and it should include 45-65% of your daily calories.
But wait don’t carbs make you fat?
Carbs & Weight Loss
Well it might not be so much of a secret but it's NOT the carbs that make you fat. it's the excess of calories. If you maintaining a healthy diet and making sure you are in a caloric deficit, I promise you can lose that extra few pounds! I will show you what carbs to avoid and which ones to go for!
Now that you learnt how carbohydrates are digested, it is easy to understand that simple carbs digest a lot faster since it doesn’t take much effort to break them down into glucose! When we test our blood sugar levels, we are basically measuring how much glucose is in our blood, therefore simple carbohydrates raise our blood sugar rapidly!
In order to maintain good health, we are advised to maintain a healthy blood sugar so it's best to stay away from foods that raise our blood sugars rapidly. Here is a list of the foods containing simple carbohydrates:
You might ask, what about fruits?
Fruits high in fructose but they are also full of vitamins, nutrients, soluble and insoluble fibers. fiber in fruits will slow down its digestion therefore they won’t raise your blood sugar so rapidly. However, if you are trying to lose a couple of pounds, you still have to keep in mind that they most fruits are very calorie dense! When I was losing weight I tried sticking to fruits that were lower in sugar such as berries!
Complex Carbohydrates: The Good Carbs!
Remember one of the reasons we want to maintain a good glucose level is that we don't want to overtire our pancreas. Our pancreas works super hard to get rid of the excess sugar in our blood and an over worked pancreas over time can possibly result in type 2 diabetes.
Complex and unrefined carbs are the healthiest type of carbohydrates because they digest a lot slower and won’t raise your blood sugar that rapidly. Here is a list of all the good carbs you should include in your diet:
Everybody always asks me what is wrong with white rice? It is delicious and very satisfying but there is only one problem!
The problem is that white rice is processed! They process the wholegrain, remove all the good nutritious stuff, and bleach it. You are left with a bleached refined grain that will digest as a simple carb! So it is best to stick to whole-wheat grains and bread.
When looking at Nutrition Facts of products that contain sugar, be aware of different names that are used for sugar:
sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, barley malt, dextrose, maltose, rice syrup, brown rice syrup, corn syrup solids and so many more!
When looking at labels for rice, breads and flour make sure you look for "whole wheat grain", "whole wheat flour" and "whole grain or brown rice". Labels such as "Natural" or "Multigrain" are labels used for marketing to make you feel good about the product you are buying.