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What carbohydrates are you eating?

19 Comments

Whole Foods

In today’s fast paced environment not all of us are able to focus on our eating habits. We don’t pay attention to what we are buying and eating. We just consume food because food is necessary to keep us alive and keep our batteries charged. But did you know that some foods that are rich in carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, white pasta and some of the cereals; not only provide energy, but also add extra unnecessary calories to our diet. Not only that, but these foods are also responsible for creating insulin imbalance in our body. Why does this happen? Does it happen because these foods are rich in carbohydrates (sugar) and carbohydrates are bad for the body? The answer is no.

Carbohydrates are very important to our body and our day-to-day functioning. When they are absorbed in the body, they provide energy to the vital parts of the body. In their absence a person can feel very tired and brain is unable to process the simplest of tasks. However not all carbohydrates are good for the body. To differentiate there are two types of carbohydrates:

1. Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are nothing but simple sugar. The reason they are called simple is because of their chemical composition of one to two sugar molecules. Simple carbohydrates due to their simpler chemical composition are broken down and digested quickly by the body, resulting in sudden rise of glucose (blood sugar) in the blood and quick release of energy. Due to higher level of glucose in blood, the body responds by producing excess insulin to remove extra glucose from blood and inhibit the release of further glucose. Eventually our body feels the lack of energy, therefore to refuel energy levels we tend to consume more food.

2. Complex Carbohydrates:

As compared to simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates instead of a simple chemical composition of one-two sugar molecules have a much more complex chained like composition of sugar molecules. Complex carbohydrates are broken down much slowly and absorbed by the body at a slower rate, thus resulting in slow and constant release of energy over a longer period of time. Hence our body stays fuller for a longer period of time while supplying constant energy to the body parts. As a reason we tend to consume lesser quantity of food.

Products such as white pasta, white rice, white bread and some cereals are processed foods. These processed foods contain simple carbohydrates due to added sugar and lack complex carbohydrates due to removed fiber.  As pointed out earlier that simple carbohydrates provide quick energy to our body, hence our body responds to them by releasing excess insulin to combat excess blood glucose. If consumed, can result in a state where body becomes less sensitive to insulin. In other words our body will not respond well to produce the amount of insulin needed to normalize blood glucose. As a result there is a change of hormonal activity in our body and the excess glucose starts converting in to fat.

In conclusion, over consumption of simple carbohydrates is bad for our body.  Due to change in insulin sensitivity one can develop a state of diabetes and other health problems such as high blood pressure, organ failure, etc.

Foods to consider

1. Whole foods: Foods such as brown rice, wholemeal bread, whole meal pasta, whole meal cereals/oatmeal cereals contain complex carbohydrates. Such foods will keep you fuller during the day and provide you with constant energy throughout. Many athletes are considering whole foods these days. Especially in longer format of games such as football, tennis and cricket one needs constant energy supply for healthy working of the body and brain.

2. Fresh fruits and vegetables: Fresh green vegetables and fresh citrus fruits are rich in fiber (complex carbohydrates) and other essential minerals for the goodness of body. These keep you full and satisfied during the day with constant energy. Some of the examples are: peas, carrots, broccoli, capsicum, mushrooms, etc. in vegetables; and grape fruit, oranges, apples, cherries, plums, etc. in fruits.  If cooking meat, add good quantity of steamed vegetables to the dish. You can also use vegetables in curries.

3. Legumes: Legumes such as lentils, chick peas, Lima beans, red kidney beans, etc. are a rich source of fiber. Legumes are also good sources of iron and folate. Due to their higher protein content, these take longer to digest thus keeping us full for a longer period of time. You can prepare lentil soups, prepare Mexican wraps, use them in salads, etc.

Mostly processed, packaged and canned foods contain simple carbohydrates. Consuming them on regular basis can really damage our body over time. If consumed, should be used in moderation. Adding more fresh and whole foods to the diet can offer greater health benefits, increase energy levels and can help in fat loss efforts.

Stay fresh and healthy.

– NAKUL BAJAJ

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Author: EAT ALL FRESH

I am a health conscious person. Enjoy doing thorough research on healthy food, diet and tips.

19 thoughts on “What carbohydrates are you eating?

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  5. Very informative! I tend to eat a ton of crappy, simple carbs. But they taste soooo good! lol

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    • Yes they certainly do. I eat them too but occasionally (once twice a year). hahaha. I am soo fussy that I will ask burger joints for whole meal bread. If they don’t I just ask them to get me the meat with salad. But that’s me. Some people don’t care about what they eat because they believe life is too short to be fussed.

      Hope you enjoyed the post.

      Regards,

      EAT ALL FRESH 🙂

      Like

  6. This was a really good post. I recently switched to a vegan diet (started in January) and I’ve seen a significant increase in my energy levels. With 3 kids I need ALL of the energy I can get 😉 Great job!

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    • Hi Budgetbraniac,

      We are glad you enjoyed the post. Oh really, mother of three and you are able to cope up? Great job blogging, taking care of your kids at the same time. Vegan Diet would have been so hard. I went vegan for two weeks and that was enough for me.

      Have a great day and stay fresh 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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  8. Hi there! Your picture reminded me of our usual breakfast – no, it’s not cereal but rather a muesli mix I developed over time. I love muesli with yogurt and fruit each morning but had trouble finding a commercial brand that was low in sugar and fat. So I make mine with plain oatmeal, chia seeds, flax (ground or whole, depending on the batch), oat bran, sliced almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds (raw, unsalted) and cinnamon. Not too expensive to make and no guilt over the sugar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well that is so good on your part that you buy these products, combine them and make a great healthy morning breakfast. Yeah most cereals come with sugar added in them. So its definitely not a good idea to add any sugar. Fruits such as strawberries, bananas can give you that sweet little taste. Even cinnamon can enhance the flavor. I am a big fan of them.
      Have a good day and stay fresh and healthy. 🙂

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  9. I live in Nigeria. And it’s not that these foods/ fruits aren’t available. They are and I take them as often as I can but to have a consistent balanced diet is expensive to maintain here. Food supply isn’t adequate so prices are not so affordable. So we naturally defer to the economical options which are mostly carbohydrates.

    The commonest Foods here are: white rice, yam, beans, cassava (locally processed varieties), beef, fish, chicken,
    Fruits: apples, oranges, carrots, pineapples, pawpaw, mangoes (seasonal), ..there are a lot
    Vegetables: We have a few but I only know the names in our local language. . lol. .won’t do you any good.

    Probably you can figure from these but I don’t have a lot of options. And most of our food shopping is done from local traders rather than stores.

    **This may shock you but I just did a quick mental statistics of my weekly average intake in terms of major percentages. Simple carbohydrates are about 75%, proteins 19& and fruits/veg about 6%. .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Its actually not bad in terms what you consume. Carbohydrates give your brain energy and your body energy. Well these percentages can be bad if you don’t do any physical work out. Also some people tend to burn calories quicker than others. You need to analyse how much calories you are consuming and how you are burning. Proteins are important for muscle function and helps aid in wear and tear. You should concentrate a bit more on fruits and vegetables though. I can understand what you are saying in terms of affordability. Well oranges, lemons, are quite common to many countries. Many people even grow lemon, oranges, melons in their backyard. Even carrots is such a great option adding to your diet. Beans are an excellent option and will keep you full and energized for a long period of time. What about capsicum, cauliflower, broccoli. Check these names in google images and you will get an idea of what I am talking about. I don’t know your situation down there, but maybe you can cut down on meat a little and use the money for buying vegetables. Good luck 🙂

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  10. Wow. I knew there were classes of carbohydrates (simple and complex). But i never knew about the energy supply part until now. That explains something I’ve pondered upon a while ago. Our diet here in Tropical Africa is mostly carbohydrates (simple, now i know) and when i consume a lot at a sitting, i find that very shortly, it is as if the whole thing is gone and i’m drained.
    It’s a bit harder to balance this diet because the simple carbohydrates are the most affordable to get in this third world side of the world.

    Thanks for the enlightenment.

    Like

    • Yes its quite amazing how little things can make change. Everything we eat, the amounts we eat, the times we eat, how nutrients are absorbed, the body’s hormonal activity, the body’s reaction, blood pressure, etc. matters. You may know friends who barely eat anything and are overweight and others who eat a lot and are slim.

      How frustrating it is to feel drained all the time, especially few hours after a meal.?

      Oh that is an issue. What about tropical fruits, vegetables, legumes? You don’t even get those in Africa? Email me a list of foods you can get your hands onto through our contact page. I will email you some recommendations, suggest you some substitutes and can also give you some recipes.
      Have a good day, stay fresh and stay healthy:)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I try not to eat “sweet” simple carbohydrates in the morning, like cereals. It makes me feel more hungry the whole day. Instead, I start with a wholemeat roll and some cheese or such. And I have been eating wholemeal pasta for years. I have problems with wholemeal rice, though. I don’t like the taste.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi kleesbutterfly,

      Well you can chose cereals that have higher fiber content. Check the label for whole grain or whole food. Another thing to check into is sugar per serving. Compare few products and you will get a rough idea. Many people don’t enjoy whole grain cereal/oats. What I tend to do is add cinnamon, fresh strawberries, banana, nuts to enhance the flavor.
      It’s opposite with me. I don’t like wholemeal pasta but like wholemeal rice. This is something you should try to make wholegrain rice really delicious. Grate two garlic cloves and along with half teaspoon of cumin fry them in two table spoon of oil. Once the mixture gets brown add the rice and mix thoroughly. Add pinch of salt, bay leaves, water. Cover the top until rice gets cooked. Trust me this tastes great .
      Eat Fresh and healthy. 🙂

      Like

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