High Carbs vs. Low Carbs: Which is Better?
What is the foremost thing which comes to your mind when you contemplate a healthy lifestyle? For most of us, it is obviously our diet plan!
The moment we consider a healthy diet; we look up on the internet for some best options. But the numerous options available online leave us confused. We get to see all sorts of combinations comprising low-fat, high-carb, low-carb, high-fat, and high and low-protein. And every approach is different from the other.
If you are clueless about where to begin, then start with the fuel that runs your body. Carbohydrates are the favourite source of energy for your body. An adequate intake of carbs also spares proteins and helps with fat metabolism, thereby leaving you healthy and fit.
Both high and low carbohydrate diets are instrumental in losing weight. They will yield great results in the initial stage. However, over a period of time, finding the right balance between them is crucial for your nutrition.
In this article we’ll analyse the relevance of high carbs and low carbs in your diet.
How much do we need?
When we follow a diet, we go for a low carb intake to lose weight. However, low carb diets can be harmful. Human body demands a minimum amount of carbohydrates to function properly. Each gram of carbohydrates provides 4 calories and our body needs around 40-60% of calories from carbohydrates. Anything lower than that is not recommended.
Different types of carbohydrates:
Simple and complex are the two types of carbohydrates that we find in our food. We refer to them as sugars and starches.
Sugar is the simple carb which can be digested effortlessly. They include foods like candy jellies, soda, cake and fruits. Starches are complex carbs which take longer to digest. Noodles, breads, grains, pasta and vegetables are examples of some common starch sources.
What is a high carb diet?
According to research, high carbohydrate diets comprise a higher value of vitamins like A & C, folate, carotene, calcium, iron and magnesium. However, make sure that you don’t suffer from any deficiency while following a high carb diet.
Carbohydrates are often misconceived as the reason for weight gain. However, a research conducted by the US Department of Agriculture reveals that high carb diets make it more likely for people to have a low BMI (Body Mass Index). They comprise grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products which provide adequate fibre and water content. So, we end up consuming less trans fats and saturated fats. The fibre in the fruits and vegetables gives you the required strength and helps in weight loss.
The only concern while following a high carb diet is the amount of carbohydrates that you take in. Carbohydrates are often easily overconsumed which can lead to weight gain.
What is a low carb diet?
Low carb diets are believed to have lesser amount of calories. This is the primary reason why they form a part of numerous weight loss programmes. Two of the most popular diet programmes are the Atkins Diet and Zone Diet.
Foods having low carbohydrates are meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, high-fat dairy, healthy oils and some tubers. According to a study, low carb diets can benefit us but only to a certain extend. Women should keep their calories intake to a minimum of 1,300 per day, while men should restrict their calorie intake to 1,700 per day. A fibre supplement can be taken along with this to meet your nutrition needs.
Another positive aspect of low carb diets is that they are low glycaemic carbs combined with fat and protein. This helps in retaining our body mass and muscle strength. Research reveals that low carb diets or high protein diets lower the triglycerides and glucose levels in the body. Since they lack the essential micro-nutrients, it is better to have well-planned dietary supplements to ward off the side-effects.
Suggestive Reading: Low Fat Versus Low Carb
Which diet wins?
The debate still goes on! Though it is difficult to comment which diet is superior in terms of health and fitness, yet we can say that the best suited diet depends solely on your lifestyle, body and food preferences.
Whether you are following a low or high carbohydrate diet, an overall healthy intake combined with a diet plan is required for your well-being. The secret to keep fit is to eat the right diet and follow a regular exercise regime. Never opt for anything extreme. It might deliver immediate results but in the longer run, it will fail.
For instance – the popularity of low carb diets comes from the fact that we avoid the over-consumption of breads, rice and pasta. However, we need to keep a balance along with some good sources of whole grains or fruit. The key is to have everything in moderation rather than focusing on specific diets.