With the festive season coming up everyone is trying to look their best & make up for the added weight by dieting. If you are one of those who are following a stylish weight-loss plan hoping for dramatic results, then let me tell you that your fad low carb diet might be causing you a lot of harm. Fad diets skipping on carbohydrates to help lose weight are not healthy and don’t result in long-term weight loss. But before we get into diets, let’s understand the importance of carbohydrates and the role they play in our bodily functions.
What are carbohydrates?
In simple words, carbohydrates are the sugars, starches & fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables, and milk products. They are one of the three main ways the body obtains energy or calories. One of the basic food groups, carbohydrates are very important to a healthy diet.
What is the main function of carbohydrates in your body?
Carbohydrates aid the body functioning by providing fuel for the central nervous system & energy to the muscles. They also prevent protein from being used as an energy source and enable fat metabolism. Eating the right amount of carbs can do good for the body. They aid mood, memory, & are a quick source of energy. In fact, the daily recommended carbohydrates are based on the number of carbs the brain needs to function.
While some carbohydrates are good for your body, there are a lot of bad carbohydrates too that aid in the weight growth that we all work against. How to define if the carbohydrate you are consuming is good or bad? Here is the list you should look at:
<td> <strong>Bad Carbs</strong> </td>
<td> High in calories </td>
<td> Full of refined sugars </td>
<td> Mostly found in refined grains </td>
<td> Low in many nutrients </td>
<td> Low in fiber </td>
<td> High in sodium </td>
<td> High in saturated fats & cholesterol </td>
|Low or moderate in calories|
|High in nutrients|
|Devoid of any sugars & refined grains|
|High in naturally occurring fiber|
|Low in sodium|
|Low in saturated fat|
|Very low in/devoid of cholesterol & trans fats|
How can carbohydrates help you?
- Ensure good mental health
It has been found that people on a high fat, low carb diet had more anxiety, depression & anger than people on a low fat, high carb diet. Carbohydrates help with the production of serotonin in the brain & also help boost memory, both of which ensure a healthy mind.
- Aids weight loss
If carbohydrates are blamed for all the weight gains, then how do they aid weight loss? The right kind of carbs/good carbs helps in maintaining a healthy weight because of the presence of fiber in them. Dietary fiber helps you to feel full and generally comes in relatively low-calorie foods.
- Are a good source of nutrients
Whole, unprocessed fruits, and vegetables that contain carbohydrates are also known for their nutrient contents. Consuming such high carb foods can help pass the sufficient nutrients & vitamins in the body.
- Improves heart health
One of the major importance of carbohydrates is in ensuring good cardiac health. Fibers that are consumed with carbohydrates help lower cholesterol, ensuring good heart health. Cholesterol levels in the body are balanced by the intake of carbohydrates.