Recent studies have shown that consuming less amounts of carbohydrates enables more people to lose weight faster and cut cardiovascular risks compared to going into a low-fat diet. However, before you completely skip intake of such, bear in mind that people cannot survive with zero carbs.
Why? Because carbohydrates serve as fuel for our bodies, especially when subjecting yourself into any kind of physical activity. The human body also needs carbohydrates to keep the intestines moving and functioning well and also has a hand in regulating our everyday moods.
This might be confusing for some, but do realize that not all carbohydrates are created equal. In fact, if you take a look at food packaging labels, you’ll notice that manufacturers list the total number of carbohydrates in a particular packaged product and then break them down into different categories which usually are fiber and sugars.
You should know that fiber is one of the “good stuff.” Fiber is what can help make you feel full longer thereby minimizing those hunger pangs, it can lower you cholesterol levels, can help keep heart attacks at bay and a lot more. Without fiber, those refined grains will then contribute to you having more fluctuations in your glucose levels which lead to more food cravings.
What you would want to watch out for is sugar. A lot of fruits, vegetables and dairy products contain some amounts of natural sugars which can be included in a certain food’s total sugar content. So you need to stay away from too much sugar and you’ll know how much added sugar there is in food if you checked the labels. Just make sure to steer clear from anything that has high amounts of brown or white sugar, high fructose syrup content, or fruit juice concentrates.
Yes, whole grain versions of your fave packaged foods are made available for easy procurement from almost all grocery stores, but then again if you want to add a bit of variety to your diet, try these often overlooked sources of carbohydrates in their natural states:
Beans are definitely a nifty source of good carbohydrates. So indulge in those garbanzos, kidney beans, black o pinto variety to get the most out of its nutritional benefits. An ounce of black beans may contain about 7 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of which would be fiber.
A lot of studies have proven that the fiber found in oats is good in promoting heart health. It is also said to lower the amounts of cholesterol in the body and aids in weight management. If you want to reap its benefits, go on and include it in your everyday diet, just don’t overdo it with the sweet toppings.
Squash is an example of food that is low in sugar content yet high in fiber. To show the numbers, a cup of cooked squash contains about 22 grams of carbs, and more than 6 grams of it is fiber content. A plus is its carotenoid content which is a potent anti-oxidant that helps in fighting off an array of diseases.
A cup of quinoa not only contains almost 5 grams of fiber, but it is also made up of complete protein! What does this mean? It simply means that it has all the essential amino acids (nine of them in total) which cannot be produced by the body and must therefore come from another source—food!
Any berry variety will fit the bill and can deliver a host of vitamins and antioxidants. A cup of blueberries for example, can only set you back roughly 84 calories but can give you with a great supply of antioxidants known to battle skin aging, cognitive decline and a slew of other health dilemmas.