We may want to follow a healthy diet, but we do not have enough time to pay attention to it. This makes us either lack some nutrients or we end up consuming more of it, leading to health issues. One of the nutrients that we should be careful about is carbohydrates. Carbs have had a bad rap, but regardless of what you’ve heard about it, they’re not your enemy! The problem lies with two things; firstly the kind of carbs you are consuming, and secondly, the quantity. Excess carbohydrates consumption is a no-no.
There are two kinds of carbs; simple and complex. Simple carbs are sugar, and complex carbs are starch and fiber. You need more complex carbs in your regular diet instead of simple carbs. Because simple carbs are sugar and if taken in excess, it can lead to side effects. So how do you find if your diet is high on carbs?
HealthShots spoke to Dr Vibha Bajpaiee, Head-Dietetics, Asian Hospital Faridabad, to know the symptoms of excess carbohydrates.
Dr Bajpaiee said, “Eating carbs does not have negative effects on our body. Only simple carbs make some warning changes in our body.”
1. Weight gain
2. High blood sugar
4. High cholesterol
5. High serum insulin
6. Skin issues
7. High Triglycerides
8. Craving to have sweets
9. Constipation and bloating
10. The digestive system gets disturbed
Before you draw the conclusion that all carbs are unhealthy, you need to understand that it totally depends on the source and amount.
First, we need to understand that every food source contains different types of carbs in it. So, we need to decide on specific food sources for specific types of carbohydrates to fulfill specific needs.
Dr Bajpaiee said, “Each type of carbohydrate has different types of molecules to give energy. Because of these properties we cannot say that carbohydrates are bad or unhealthy. But we should choose the correct options to fulfill our needs. We should choose more complex carbohydrates for weight loss. Carbs are used to give the energy to support body function and physical activity but we should choose more complex carbohydrate food sources like whole grains, fruits, fresh vegetables, etc.”
The amount of carbs to consume is an individual choice because every person has different types of body composition (water, protein, fat, etc.) and is based on metabolic rate and body mass index. So, it depends upon the person’s BMI, BMR, physical activity, eating habits, etc. In general, 55 percent to 60 percent of the total energy requirement should be taken from more complex carbohydrates and very little from simple carbs.
If we are taking too many simple carbs in our daily diet, our body gets more sugar from that food source. Due to excess sugar in the blood, our beta cells will make more insulin to convert this extra sugar to glycogen and more in muscles and liver. And if you are a diabetic, sugar tends to go very high, and this may lead to a serious problem, says Dr Bajpaiee.
If we take too many simple carbs on a daily basis, it can cause obesity. And if we do not burn the same calories in the form of exercise, it may cause dyslipidemia and also protein deficiency. So, make sure you consume carbs in the right amount from the right source!
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