Nowadays, “low carb diet” or “zero-carb diet” are trending. People are alert about carbohydrates in their daily food intake. Everyone asks, “are carbohydrates healthy for the body?”, “Should we eliminate from our diet?” etc.
Indian cuisines, including Maharashtrian, Gujarati, South Indian, North Indian, etc., are rich in carbohydrates, including chapati, parathas, sabzi, dal, rice, khichdi, dosa, and idli. We all are entirely dependent on wheat, johar, bajra, rice, vegetables, dals, fruits rich in multi-vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. These are also good sources of fiber. Fiber comes under the carbohydrate category. So, can you imagine your diet without or zero carbs?
Scientifically, when we consume carbohydrates, it provides glucose to the body, which is converted to energy, using for our day-to-day activity. Our thinking, breathing, digestion, heart beating all depend on it. The liver also stores extra carbohydrates in the form of glycogen and uses it later. Carbohydrates help to preserve muscles too.
Different Types Of Carbohydrates
There are two types of carbohydrates: complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. Food sources like cereals, millets, vegetables, and fruits come under complex carbohydrates, which have protein in small amounts and a good amount of fiber and vitamins.
In simple carbohydrates, foods involve sugar, refined flour (maida), jaggery, honey, Maggi, burger, pizza, soft drinks, and bakery foods that do not have protein, vitamins, and fiber. Due to lifestyle changes, people prefer to eat ready-to-eat food, packet foods that are fully loaded with simple carbohydrates. Youngsters are also eating pizza, burgers, bakery foods when they are hungry. Restaurants are very smart! They start giving discounts on these unhealthy food items. Such foods are a disaster to our health.
Are Carbohydrates Healthy For The Body?
Sugar is a type of empty calories—overeating sugar associates with obesity, heart diseases, diabetes. Research is showing consumption of sugar-based foods and beverages is associated with childhood obesity. So, people start replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners. These artificial sweeteners are also not entirely safe.
Overconsumption of artificial sweeteners can lead to liver and kidney damages. Dieticians often advise not to eat sugar, but some advise replacing it with jaggery and honey. Is it advisable to replace sugar with jaggery, honey? The answer is NO because sugar, jaggery, and honey have the same calorie.
80% of people following various diet types for weight loss always ask, “should I avoid chapatis or rice from my regular diet?” How many of you think chapati is responsible for weight gain or rice is a weight gainer? The answer is at what time you are consuming in what quantity and the choice of other food. If you are eating late-night dinner including chapati with mouth-melting butter, still you are craving for Biryani, then yes, you are putting the burden on your digestive system.
If you choose only one type of carbohydrate, either chapati or rice, with a good amount of protein and fiber options, it will not harm you. 90% of the Indian diet is carbohydrate-based, so it is not a good way to eliminate it.
You can restrict simple carbohydrates options like refined flour, bakery foods, sugary foods that are the best option. But a fiber-rich diet is essential to keep the body healthy. It helps to control sugar levels and stays away from stomach cancer. Oats, fruits, curds, and vegetables are rich in probiotics and antioxidants, helping keep you healthy.
Carbohydrates are evils when you consume the wrong one, i.e., simple carbohydrates, but carbohydrates are health-friendly when choosing the correct one in your diet with suitable physical exercises. Therefore, be mindful before consuming carbs in your diet.
Read Also: How Many Carbs Should One Consume In A Day?