Something About Carbohydrates You Should Know
Nov 03, 2022
Smart Health Watch
Carbohydrates often get a bad rap, one of the most common claims being that they cause people to gain weight. But carbs aren't all bad. It has so many health benefits that it deserves its rightful place in the diet. In fact, the body needs carbohydrates to function properly.
However, some types of carbohydrates may be better for you than others. Learn more about carbohydrates and how to choose healthy carbs.
Learn about carbohydrates
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Carbohydrates are a macronutrient found in many foods and drinks. Most carbohydrates are found naturally in plant-based foods, such as grains. Food manufacturers also add carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of starch or added sugars.
Common sources of natural carbohydrates include:
Types of carbohydrate
There are three main types of carbohydrates:
- Sugar. Sugar is the simplest carbohydrate and is naturally found in certain foods such as fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products. There are several types of sugar, including the sugar in fruit (fructose), edible sugar (sucrose), and sugar in milk (lactose).
- Starch. Starch is a complex carbohydrate that consists of multiple sugar units. Starch is found naturally in vegetables, grains, cooked dried beans and peas.
- Fiber. Fiber is also a complex carbohydrate. Fiber is found naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.
More carbohydrate terms: Net carbohydrates and glycemic index
Terms such as "low carb" or "net carb" often appear on product labels. But the Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate these terms, so there's no standard meaning. A typical "net carbohydrate" is the amount of carbohydrate in a product without fiber or without fiber and sugar alcohols.
You may also have heard about the glycemic index. The glycemic index classifies carbohydrate-containing foods according to their ability to raise blood sugar levels.
Weight-loss diets based on the glycemic index usually recommend limiting foods with a higher glycemic index. Foods that rank relatively high on the index include potatoes and white bread, as well as less healthy options such as snacks and sweets containing refined flour.
Many healthy foods (such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy products) are naturally low on the glycemic index.
If you want to learn about how to eat with a healthier dietary pattern,read this blog.