CARBOHYDRATES ARE NOT THE ENEMY – nutra-on-organics

CARBOHYDRATES ARE NOT THE ENEMY

Because not all carbohydrates are equal.

The appropriate carbs feed our body and brain while also providing a surplus of nutrients.

Carbohydrates are not the enemy, despite the popularity of low-carbohydrate diets. Carbohydrates that are beneficial for us provide many nutrients while also feeding our body and brain. Low-carb diets are nothing new; they have been around for more than a century. They are popular among dieters because they promise rapid weight loss. Because they focus on protein and fat, low-carb diets also do an excellent job of controlling appetite. Unlike popular belief, low-carb diets have several disadvantages. Many people consume too many unhealthy carbohydrates, such as sugars and sweets, and refined and starchy grain meals like white bread and rice, pasta, refined and sweetened breakfast cereals.

Starches and sugars are broken down mechanically by chewing and chemically by enzymes during digestion into the single units, glucose, fructose and galactose, which are absorbed into the bloodstream and transported as energy throughout the body.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index has been established to describe how different carbohydrate (Simple and Complex) -rich foods directly affect blood sugar. It is considered a unique way of categorizing carbs, particularly starchy foods. On a scale of 0 to 100, the glycemic index measures carbohydrates based on how quickly and how much they elevate blood sugar levels after eating.

Sugars such as fructose and glucose with simple chemical structures (monosaccharides) or two sugars (disaccharides) make up simple carbohydrates. Because of their simple molecular composition, simple carbs are quickly consumed for energy by the body, often resulting in a faster rise in blood sugar and pancreatic insulin release - both of which can have negative health consequences. 

Carbs having three or more sugars linked together are complex carbohydrates (oligosaccharides and polysaccharides). However, some so-called complex carbohydrate foods, such as white bread and white potatoes, are high in starch but low in fiber and other nutrients.

What happens when we eat a very low-carb diet? 

When we do not eat enough carbohydrates to deliver glucose to our cells, our body is compelled to break down body fat for energy. However, when we eat an extremely low-carbohydrate diet, our body is misled into thinking there is no fuel coming in, and it enters a state known as ketosis.

Is it crucial to eat the correct carbs?

While our body may acclimatize to running on ketones, bear in mind that this is not a normal physiological condition; it is a defense mechanism to keep our engines going. As a result, a healthy intake of complex carbohydrates is critical for mood regulation, with some research suggesting a relationship between low carb intake and depression.

Consuming many higher glycaemic carbs can contribute to weight gain and body fat gain, but there are also benefits. Complex carbohydrates should make up most of our carbohydrate intake, with simple carbs used to fuel workouts and aid recuperation.

Bhagyashree Hatti
M. Tech (Food Technology)
Quality Assurance and 
R&D