How to Eat Carbs Without Gaining Weight?
Carbohydrates have a bad reputation, especially when it comes to weight loss. What people don't know is that carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for our bodies. Not all types of carbohydrates are harmful; there are actually two types of carbohydrates healthy and unhealthy. Consuming too many unhealthy carbohydrates would definitely cause some long-term health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, etc. But the healthy type of carbohydrates is a must and we need it to survive and be healthy. Knowing the difference between these two types is highly necessary for a healthy body and life. A lot of people are confused about carbohydrates, but note that consuming carbohydrates from nutritious foods is more important than eating a strict diet that restricts or calculates the number of grams of carbohydrates consumed.
In this article, I will explain the difference between the two types of carbohydrates and what type to consume and what type to avoid.
Unhealthy carbohydrates (refined)
Most of the nutrients and fiber had been removed from refined (simple) carbohydrates, which can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar and trigger the pancreas to release insulin. Blood sugar levels drop after eating a meal high in refined carbohydrates an hour or two later. This increases hunger and activates areas of the brain that are linked to reward and cravings. These signals make you crave more food, and are known to cause overeating. Consuming refined carbs is associated with a significantly increased risk of many diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Refined carbs have less nutritional value than the unrefined carbs. They lack fiber, which is essential both for digestive health and for stable blood sugar.
Example of refined carbohydrates:
- Fruit juice
- White bread
- White rice
- White pasta
- Carbonated drinks
- Pastries (donuts, scones, cupcakes)
Healthy carbohydrates (complex)
Unprocessed or complex carbohydrates are the healthiest sources of carbohydrates, which lead to better health by containing vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a number of important essential nutrients. Complex carbohydrates take longer than simple carbohydrates to break down and have far more lasting energy in the body. Complex carbohydrates found in whole grains appear to have a strong nutritional value; this is because, whole-grain foods contain a layer of bran and germ that provide fiber, vitamin B and E, and phytochemicals. Complex carbohydrates can also lower the risk of several chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancer.
Examples of complex carbohydrates:
- Whole grains (oats, quinoa, brown rice, corn)
How to eat carbohydrates and lose weight?
Start your day with complex carbohydrates try a hot cereal, such as steel-cut or old-fashioned oats, or a cold cereal that contains a whole grain first on the ingredient list and has a low amount of sugar. Choose a type of cereal containing at least 4 grams of fiber per cup, and less than 8 grams of sugar.
Choose whole-wheat bread when preparing sandwiches at home or when ordering from a restaurant, the more fiber it has the better. Choose high-fiber carbohydrates such as fruits (with skin), popcorn, or rice cakes when you want to snack between meals. Not only will you feel full, but also you’ll keep your energy high a few hours later, which leads to fewer calories consumed throughout the day. The Healthy Eating Plate encourages loading most of your plate with healthy carbs like vegetables (except potatoes) and fruit filling up around half of your plate, and whole grains filling up about a fourth of your plate. This would fill your stomach with high-fiber carbohydrates that are still low in calories, resulting in weight loss.
Refined carbohydrates don't have lasting energy, and they lack important nutrients. Eating too many refined carbohydrates will potentially lead to weight gain and health issues. Try to carefully select your carbohydrates by limiting foods with added sugars and refined carbohydrates, such as sugary beverages, sweets, and candies, which are overloaded with calories and low in nutritional value. Choose fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber, instead. Overall, in order to shed some pounds, you do not need to starve yourself or cut back on carbs, rather go for the healthier type of carbohydrates that are rich in fiber and essential nutrients. Food is not supposed to be our enemy, and please never listen to someone trying to tell you that your number one enemy is carbohydrates. When you limit your carbs intake you're also limiting your fiber, vitamins, and minerals intake. Instead, you can choose complex carbohydrates over refined carbohydrates in order to stay healthy.
Medicalnewstoday.com. 2020. Simple Carbs Vs. Complex Carbs: What's The Difference?.
Medicalnewstoday.com. 2020. Refined Carbs: What They Are, And How To Avoid Them.
Healthline. 2020. Good Carbs, Bad Carbs — How To Make The Right Choices.
Mayo Clinic. 2020. Choose Your Carbs Wisely.
The Nutrition Source. 2020. Carbohydrates.