Carbohydrates And Weight Loss
Diet – Carbohydrates helps explain, along with protein and fat, why carbohydrates are an essential ingredient of any weight loss diet. They are also a main source of energy for the body.
Carbs, as they are often referred to, supply your immediate energy needs. Carbs in excess of your immediate energy needs will be stored as fat to be used to supply energy later if needed. This is why many weight loss programs advocate a low-carb diet.
They reason that, by reducing the amount of carbohydrates in the diet, your energy levels start to drop. This results in low blood-sugar levels which is controlled by your carbohydrate metabolism. To compensate, your body will burn fat resulting in weight loss.
There are three types of carbohydrates – sugars, starches and fiber – and are derived from the plant-based foods that you eat. As there are good and bad fats, there are also good and bad carbohydrates.
Diet – Carbohydrates:
What Are The Good And Bad Carbohydrates?
The good carbs, often referred to as complex carbs, come mainly from fruit and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains. These all contain large amounts of vitamins, minerals and fiber and are essential in maintaining good health.
There are a number of other sources of good carbs. These include brown rice, one hundred percent whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, sweet potatoes and oatmeal.
Bad carbs, often referred to as simple carbs, are found in snack and junk foods. These include Biscuits, Chips, Crackers, French Fries, Pretzels, Sweets, Pastries, and Fizzy Drinks.
Also known as “empty calorie” foods, they are low in nutrients but high in calories, resulting in low or negative nutrition. Other bad carbs come in the form of White Bread; White Rice; White Potatoes; Pasta; and any food or drink containing sugar.
Diet – Carbohydrates:
What Should My Daily Carbohydrate Intake Be?
As with protein, one gram of carbs contains four calories. So, once your total intake of calories through protein and fat has been established, carbs will make up the balance of your total calorie intake.
For example, remember that one gram of carbs contains four calories. Also, the weight loss target is five hundred calories below your calorie maintainance level of three thousand.
So, now you need to calculate your total calorie intake of protein and fat. Taking into account it falls short by, say, one thousand two hundred calories, will determine your carb requiremnts. You would need to consume three hundred grams of carbs daily (1,200 ÷ 4 = 300). This would bring your total calorie intake to the reduced level of two thousand five hundred calories.
Remember, Diet – Carbohydrates gives these figures only as an example. They will vary according to the individual’s chosen weight loss program or the advice of their doctor or nutritionist. Most nutritionists recommend that in the average healthy diet, half of your daily calorie intake should come from carbohydrates.
As in the example above, some nutritionists recommend that ten percent should come from sugar or sweeteners. In our example, this would amount to thirty grams of sugar or sweeteners daily.
Dietary fiber is mainly needed to keep the digestive system healthy. Your daily fiber intake should come from food rather than supplements. You will normally get most of the fiber you need from eating a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Research has shown that a diet rich in these foods lowers your risk of contracting type-2 diabetes, heart disease, diverticulitis, and constipation. Although, contrary to popular belief, there is no conclusive evidence that it lowers the risk of contracting colon cancer.
Again, based on a daily intake of two thousand five hundred calories, of which three hundred grams are carbs, as in the example above, approximately forty grams should be fiber.
Within reason, a higher intake of fiber is permissible but should be increased gradually. As well as increasing your fiber intake you will need to increase your fluid consumption as fiber absorbs water.
I hope your have found Diet – Carbohydrates interesting and informative. Just remember, that a healthy well-balanced diet is necessary to maintain your health whether it be a weight loss or normal diet.