Through the past decade, carbohydrates have got a lot of flak, apparently for making us gain weight. But all they are trying to do is provide us energy to get through the day, but our lifestyles are such that we have plenty of high-calorie option around us, and we have seuch sedentary jobs that we barely burn the energy.
Many diets promote low-carbohydrate foods for weight loss. These diets claim that carbohydrates stimulate insulin secretion, which promotes body fat. So, the logic goes, reducting carbohydrates will reduce body fat.
As a matter of fact, carbohydrates do stimulate insulin secretion immediately after they’re consumed, but this is a normal process that allows carbohydrates to be absorbed into cells.
People who gain weight on high-carbohydrate diets do so because they’re eating excess calories. Excess calories from any source will cause weight gain.
Carbohydrates are compounds which contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are the main sources of energy for our body and the only source of energy for our nervous tissues. They play a significant role in the structure and function of the organs and nerve cells. Also they are used as the most efficient fuel for muscular exercsie. Glycogen stored in the heart muscle is used for this purpose, especially in an emergency.
Think of all the carbohydrate-containing foods laid out in a line. At one end are whole wheat, oats, brown rice and millets. In the middle, white flour, white rice, potatoes and pastas. And at the other end are highly processed products- cookies, candies and soft drinks. The foods in that spectrum incorporate all three kinds of carbohydartes: fiber, starch and sugar.
When picking carbohydrates, the key word is “whole”. Generally, the less refined a carbohydrate food, the better it is for you.