What are carbohydrates and why are they important for our health?

Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients that provide energy to the body, along with protein and fat.

Another key point, it should make up 45-65% of daily caloric intake. A healthy diet should include a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, with an emphasis on whole, unprocessed foods.

Carbohydrates are made up of 3 components:

The simplest form of carbohydrate, which the body can easily breakdown. After consuming sugars, the body’s blood sugar rises and quickly drops. It naturally occurs in some foods including fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products.

A complex carbohydrate composed of many sugar units bonded together. In turn, it takes longer to break down. In other words, the blood sugar levels remain stable, and fullness lasts longer. It is found in beans & legumes, fruits, whole grain products and vegetables.

Also a complex carbohydrate which can’t be broken down by the body. It usually passes through the intestines, which in turn aids in digestion.

Adults are recommended to have at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily. High fiber foods include beans & legumes, fruits, nuts & seeds, whole grain products and vegetables.

Health benefits of Carbohydrates:

Serves as the body’s main source of energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity.

Helps prevent diseases.

Fibers help reduce cholesterol levels, lower the risk for heart disease and stroke, regulate blood sugar levels, and protect against obesity.

Improves the digestive system.

Fiber-rich carbohydrate in the diet aids in the digestive health. It adds bulk to the stool which facilitates easy elimination from the body.

Risk of cancer is can be reduced.

Studies have found that fibers reduce the risk of colon and rectal cancer.

Helps to keep memory sharp.

Consuming enough energy-giving carbohydrates improves the ability to memorize.

Although carbohydrates have health benefits, not all carbohydrates are good.

The healthiest sources of carbohydrates are the unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans.

People should avoid foods with added sugars and refined grains such as sugary drinks, desserts, and candies because they are high in calories but low in nutrition.

Here are some tips in integrating healthy carbohydrates in the diet:

  • Start the day with whole grains.
    Choose a cereal that has at least 4 grams of fiber and less than 8 grams of sugar per serving.
  • Choose whole fruit instead of juice.
    As an example, an orange has 2 times as much fiber and half as much sugar as a 12-ounce glass of orange juice.
  • Pass on the potatoes.
    Potatoes have been found to promote weight gain. Aside from this, beans are a healthier alternative source of slowly digested carbohydrates.
  • Look beyond the bread aisle.
    Bread products often has high sodium content. Look for other options such as having whole grain in salad form.

Working with a healthcare professional can help determine the appropriate amount and types of carbohydrates needed for you.

It pays to be informed

Moreover, by choosing the right carbohydrates for your diet, you can help maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall health.

Schedule a consultation with us today. Download the Medgate app today via Appstore or Google Play, chat with us on Facebook Messenger, or call us through the following numbers:  

Landline: 84241737
Globe: 09175362156
Smart: 09190580500

Available 24/7 and on holidays, ready to give the gift that comforts.