Healthy Eating

Complex carbohydrates: Important part of healthy diets

What is carbohydrate

Complex carbohydrates are an important source of energy in our body. Carbohydrate is one of the major food group together with proteins and fats. Carbohydrates are mostly found in starchy foods. They are also found in fruits and vegetables in small quantities. After consumption, carbohydrates are broken down in the digestive system to glucose. Glucose is the simplest form of carbohydrate. It provides the energy the body needs to support life.

Benefits of carbohydrate in a diet

Carbohydrate is an important part of a healthy diet. It should provide 40-80% of your daily energy requirements. Little or no carbohydrates in the diet may result in fatigue, headaches bad breathe. As a result, this affects your general wellbeing.  Additionally, the best energy source for your brain is glucose. Which comes from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates also provide dietary fiber which promotes healthy bowel movement.

Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are the healthiest. These are whole, unprocessed, or semi-processed carbohydrates. In addition to glucose, complex carbohydrates are rich in vitamins, minerals. They also have a low glycemic index. This means that after digestion they release glucose slowly into the blood. Therefore reducing the risk of high blood sugar. Complex carbohydrates also will result in satiety and you eat just enough and stay full for long. They also are high in fiber, preventing constipation and making bowel movements to be very comfortable.  Complex carbohydrates include Baked products from whole cereal flours. Roots like sweet potatoes, yams, arrowroots, taros, and cassava.  Legumes like kidney beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Whole fruits and vegetables.

Refined carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates include sweeteners and grains that have been processed to remove the bran and germ. The more processed a carbohydrate, the unhealthier it is as they provide just the glucose and nothing else beneficial to the body. They also release glucose very fast causing a spike in your blood sugar and are associated with weight gain.  These include Sugar and sweeteners. Baked goods from refined wheat flour. Cornmeal (Ugali) from refined maize flour. Fruit and vegetable juices.

Complex Carbohydrates and weight loss

In most weight loss plans, carbohydrate is usually the first food group to be kicked out. However, that should not be the case. It is important to cut off the real culprit when losing weight; that is refined carbohydrates.  Complex carbohydrates will keep you full for a long time. As a result, this will increase compliance with strict diet plans. It is also important to remember to watch your portions.

Healthy diet goals

Cut down on refined carbohydrates and sugars, replace them with unprocessed or semi-processed carbohydrates.