Do you always skip the pasta, rice and rotis at dinner with the excuse that you are too full, or just end up nibbling a small portion so that your family does not give you the ’stares?’ You don’t have to avoid carbohydrates all together. Dietician Maithili Pashtekar tells us why you need a healthy amount of carbs everyday.
Why does Our Body need Carbs: Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for all body functions. Carbs are broken down into fuel to be used by our muscles to perform various functions. They are also a good source of fibre that aid in digestion and improve our metabolism.
Why Carbs should not be Skipped: Carbohydrates are usually replaced by protiens as a source of energy. But, if proteins make up more than 30% of your source of energy, it could lead to the build up of toxic ketones. These need to be flushed out of your system by the kidneys. Excess of it will take a toll on your kidneys eventually. You could also lose a lot of water in the process leading to dehydration. Along with that you could also lose muscle mass and bone calcium. Lack of carbs could cause muscle fatigue. All of this, could eventually stress your cardiovascular functions and ultimately your heart. Carbohydrates are also required for absorption of other nutrients like Vitamin A and C.
Good and Bad Carbs: Carbs are believed to be bad as they could lead to weight gain and related problems. However, they are not bad as themselves. The right form of carbs will not lead to weight gain. The right form are complex carbohydrates or those with high fibre content, and those with a low glycemic index. Carbohydrates with fibre will release energy slowly, keeping you full for longer, thus preventing weight gain.
Avoid Carbs that contain simple sugars like sugar, maida, white bread, white rice, pasta etc. Therefore, do not attempt diets that say no to carbs like the Atkins Diet or the South beach diet that recommend small portions of carbs as opposed to the 60% of total calorie intake that we need.
Some Sources of Good Carbohydrates Are:
Grains like wheat, bajra, jowar and ragi
Whole wheat pasta/bread and barley.
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