Healthy Diet Tips - Do Carbs Make You Gain Weight?
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By Joash Guevarra
Aspiring to get the ideal weight or even maintaining it involves plenty of steps that requires perseverance and patience. However, gaining too much weight can be problematic, especially if you are at risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and more.
But stopping excess weight gain by reducing your overall carb intake is not the ideal way. Neither carbs or fats alone are responsible for why you’re gaining a few kilograms, according to Hayden James, a registered dietitian and diabetes care and education specialist (DCES) with Intermountain Healthcare in Utah. The true culprit behind your issue is your overall daily calorie intake.
Generally speaking, you are more likely to gain weight if your caloric intake exceeds the amount you burn every day. So if you want to shedome of your excess fat, you might want to consider reducing your high-calorie food intake and start exercising more.
In this article, learn more about the different types of carbs and which one among them is healthier. Furthermore, you will know some examples of foods that are rich in carbohydrates.
Simple vs Complex Carbs: Which One is Healthier?
Before you dismiss the idea that carbohydrates are not responsible for your weight gain, it is important to know its two different types and what benefits or downsides do they have when you eat them.
First off, when you hear the term “simple carbs”, you can expect food items, such as the following, to fall under this category:
• Sugary drinks
• Table sugar
• Fruit juice concentrate
Generally speaking, the carbs you get from processed or refined food products will have this type. However, you can also get them from fruits and milk.
According to Alicia Galvin, RD, a resident dietitian for Sovereign Laboratories in Dallas, simple carbs are easily absorbed by the body through the gut, causing a spike in blood sugar levels. When this process occurs, it can suppress fat burning. So the next time you eat some candies or drink your favourite soft drinks, keep in mind that your body weight might be a bit higher the next time you stand on a scale, especially if you consume them every day.
On the other hand, complex carbs contain fibre, a type of carbohydrate your body doesn’t digest or absorb. Galvin says that consuming foods rich in this nutrient feeds good gut bacteria and slows down the absorption of carbohydrate, ultimately preventing a spike in your blood sugar. This benefit allows you to have a constant and steady supply of energy.
However, while it may seem that simple carbs are something you should avoid, keep in mind that not all of its sources are bad for you. For example, fruits and dairy products have them but their benefits are way different than those such as candies and cookies. Determining whether carbohydrates are bad for you will depend on the type of food.
Which Foods Have High Amounts of Complex Carbs?
1. Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, strawberries, apples, and more are excellent sources of complex carbs. Moreover, they also contain plenty of essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs, such as potassium, dietary fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, and more.
A diet rich in these nutrients can lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease, prevent cancer, and may even promote weight loss, which is great for people who want to shed a couple of pounds.
2. Brown & Jasmine Rice
Unlike their white counterpart, brown and Jasmine rice are considered the healthier option as they contain the germ, bran, and endosperm of the grain, giving them a higher fibre content. This nutrient is great for satiety and weight maintenance, not to mention the vitamins and minerals it contains, such as iron, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins.
3. Sweet potatoes
Adding some sweet potatoes to your meals every day can help you maintain your weight. Besides being another source of fibre, eating them also increases hormones like cholecystokinin that actually helps make you feel full, according to Ryan Maciel R.D., C.S.C.S., a dietitian based in Cambridge.
4. Red potatoes
However, if you’re not a fan of sweet potatoes, going for red potatoes can also be an effective and filling food to add to your meals. They’re full of fibre that comes with less calories. But if you’re going to add toppings like sour cream or butter, you might want to consider other healthier options, such as mustard, salsa, red pepper flakes, and more.
Another high-fibre food you can add to the list is chickpeas. These legumes, according to Dietitian Patricia Bridget Lane, promote satiety which prevents you from overeating. They are perfect for people who are looking to reduce or maintain their weight.
Aside from its high fibre content and low calories, quinoa is also high in protein, at eight grams per cup. Adding this food to your diet is perfect if you are going on a meatless diet like vegetarianism, according to Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and National Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
7. Spaghetti squash
Lastly, spaghetti squash is a low-calorie food that is rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, betacarotene, antioxidants, and more. According to Registered Dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD., one cup of this squash is only about forty calories and is capable of making you full.
A Long Life Involves Plenty of Carbs
Reaching the age of 100 is great, especially if you want to see your kids and grandchildren grow older. But did you know that while there are plenty of reasons why some individuals live that long, going for a carbohydrate-rich diet may be one of the possible answers to achieving that goal. Similar to how the people in Okinawa, Japan, and Ikaria, Greece have the highest population of people whose ages are beyond 100, you can expect to feel alive and well even after you become a centenarian.
However, keep in mind to practise control over how much you eat every day. Stick to your recommended daily intake and you can expect to have a long and healthy life.
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