Carbs are Unhealthy: 3 Myths Busted


Carbs are Unhealthy: 3 Myths Busted

Carbohydrates, often abbreviated as "carbs," have been at the centre of a nutritional tug-of-war for years. Are they the dietary demons some make them out to be, or are they essential for a balanced and healthy diet? This article will break the myth that all carbs are unhealthy. We will also learn about the different carbohydrate types and their vital role in our bodies.

What are Carbs?

Carbohydrates, often called carbs, are like sugar molecules. They're one of the three main things your body gets from the food and drinks you consume, alongside proteins and fats.

Your body takes apart carbohydrates and turns them into glucose. Glucose, like blood sugar, gives energy to your body's cells, tissues, and organs. It can be used immediately or kept in the liver and muscles for later use.

What are the Different Types of Carbohydrates?

There are three main kinds of foods with carbs:

1. Sugars

These are simple carbohydrates because they're the primary form of carbs. They can be added to candy, desserts, processed foods, and regular soda. They're also naturally found in fruits, vegetables, and milk.

2. Starch

These are complex carbohydrates with many simple sugars linked together. Your body has to break down starches into sugars to use them for energy. Starchy foods include bread, cereal, pasta, and vegetables like potatoes, peas, and corn.

3. Fiber

Fiber is another complex carbohydrate. Your body can't break down most fibres, so eating foods with fibre can make you feel complete and less likely to overeat. High-fibre diets have extra health benefits. They can help prevent stomach or intestinal issues like constipation and may even lower cholesterol and blood sugar. You can find fibre in many plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Top 5 Carbohydrates-Rich Food

The sources of carbohydrates mentioned below are super rich in carbs:

1. Quinoa

Quinoa is a healthy seed that lots of health-conscious people love. It's not a grain but prepared and eaten like one. Cooking quinoa is mainly made of carbs (about 70%), so it's a high-carb food. But it's also a good source of protein and fibre. Quinoa has many minerals and natural compounds linked to health benefits, like helping with blood sugar control and heart health. Plus, it's gluten-free, which makes it an excellent option for people who can't eat wheat.

2. Oats

Oats are super carbohydrate foods that are healthy whole grains packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Raw oats are mostly carbs (about 70%) and are high in a specific kind of fibre called oat beta-glucan. Oats also have more protein than most other grains, and research shows they can lower your cholesterol levels and also help with blood sugar control, especially for people with type 2 diabetes.

3. Buckwheat

Buckwheat looks a bit like quinoa and is a carbohydrates rich food. It is generally used in Indian households at the time of fasts and is better known as ‘kuttu ka atta’. Despite its name, it's unrelated to wheat and doesn't have gluten. When it's raw, it's mostly carbs, but when you cook it, it has less. Buckwheat is a nutrition powerhouse with protein, fibre, minerals, and antioxidants.

4. Bananas 

Bananas are another popular carbohydrates rich food that lots of people enjoy. They're full of carbs, either as starches or sugars. They're also high in potassium and vitamins B6 and C. Bananas contain plant compounds that can be good for your health. Eating bananas may help lower your blood pressure and support heart health. Less ripe bananas have more starch, while ripe ones have more natural sugars.

Did you know there are 105 calories in 1 banana?

5. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are tasty root vegetables. They're a carb source of starch, sugar, and fibre. They're rich in vitamins like A and C, potassium, and antioxidants. Sweet potatoes are loaded with compounds that fight harmful free radicals in your body, protecting you from chronic diseases.

>> Also Read: A Healthy Diet Plan for Senior Citizens

Why Do You Need Carbs in Your Diet?

Carbohydrates have lots of good reasons to be part of your diet. Here's why they matter:

  1. Carbs, especially glucose, provide energy for your brain. It's like fuel for clear thinking and a good mood.
  2. Fibre, a type of carb, is crucial for your digestion. It helps things move smoothly in your gut.
  3. Your brain and gut talk to each other. Carbs play a role in this conversation.
  4. Carbs, incredibly complex ones, can boost the helpful bacteria in your gut.
  5. They're essential for making serotonin, which controls your mood. Not having enough carbs can make you feel stressed.
  6. Carbs help keep your blood sugar at the right level, preventing tiredness and irritability.
  7. Carbs are like the body's gasoline. They're transformed into energy for everything you do, from running to thinking.
  8. Eating whole grains and fibre from natural sources can lower your risk of heart issues, obesity, certain cancers, and diabetes.

Note: Disorders of carbohydrate metabolism include diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar coma, and hypoglycemia.

Understand the Difference between Good and Bad Carbohydrates

Good carbs in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provide sustained energy and are rich in essential nutrients like minerals, vitamins, and fibre. In contrast, bad carbohydrates, often present in processed and sugary food, deliver a rapid but short-lived energy boost. They leave you feeling hungry again quickly. These carbs lack essential nutrients and can lead to erratic blood sugar spikes. Thus, it increases the risk of weight gain, diabetes, and heart problems.

Tip: If you want to watch your carbs intake, check the food labels of packaged foods, as they provide valuable information.

Some Common Carb Myths

Here are three common carbohydrate myths that need to be busted:

1. Carbs Make You Gain Weight

Here’s the Real Truth: It is just that it says that eating carbs causes weight gain. In reality, eating too many calories leads to gaining weight, not just carbs. Even people choose good carbs for losing weight.

2. Carbs are Bad

Here’s the Real Truth: Some think all carbs are unhealthy. But there are good carbs in foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains that are good for you.

3. Carbs Should Be Avoided on Low-Carb Diets

Here’s the Real Truth: Low-carb diets don't mean you have to avoid all carbs. Some carbs, like those in whole foods, can be part of a healthy diet, even on a low-carb plan.

Final Word!

Choosing the right kind of carbs is essential for a healthy diet. Thus, you should opt for whole grains, fruits, and veggies. Keep the carbohydrates food list shared above handy so that you know how to get the best from the carbs that you eat. Carbohydrate deficiency can lead to multiple health issues such as low blood pressure, constipation, nausea, fatigue, weakness, vitamin and mineral deficiency etc. Some conditions may require hospitalisation as well. In order to protect your overall well-being, you consider the importance of health insurance in time.

The right kind of policy ensures that you can receive the necessary medical care without the burden of excessive bills. Health insurance plans from Care Health Insurance provide necessary coverage for planned or emergency hospitalisation arising out of a health condition or accidents. The plans are cost-effective and offer comprehensive coverage. For more information you can allow our experts to connect with you.

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

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Q. Why are refined carbs foods bad for you?

Refined carbs are often bad for health because they are processed to reduce the bran and germ layers, stripping away essential nutrients and fibre.

Q. Is carb harmful to us?

Carbohydrates are not inherently harmful to us. They are an essential source of energy for our bodies. The key is choosing suitable carbohydrate types, such as whole grains, fruits, etc. Only refined carbs are harmful.

Q. Is rice a carbohydrate?

Yes, rice is a carbohydrate. It is a starchy food that primarily consists of carbohydrates.

Q. What are the deficiency diseases of carbohydrates?

A deficiency of carbohydrates can lead to low blood sugar, causing symptoms like shakiness and dizziness.


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