- Carbs help in production and storage of energy
- You should include more complex carbs in your diet
- Oats are rich in complex carbs
Isn't it about time you stopped focusing on all the fad diets and instead focused on getting wholesome nutrition? Fad diets might help you lose weight quickly, but they may end up making you lethargic, low on energy and may even may cause nutritional deficiencies. Celebrity nutritionist Nmami Agarwal, in one of her posts on Instagram, mentions that around 50% of your daily calorie intake should come from carbs. Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient for energy. They provide the body with glucose. "Energy storehouses in the body then use oxygen to burn glucose into heat energy by producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP)," writes Nmami in her blog post shared on Instagram, while adding, "ATP helps in release and storage of energy to support physical activities and essential body functions."
Carbs can be broadly classified as simple and complex carbs. Simple carbs are usually made up of one or two sugar molecules. These include lactose, fructose, sucrose and glucose.
Complex carbs are formed with sugar molecules that are strung together in complex chains, Nmami writes. Complex carbs can also be called as good carbs. They take a long time to digest and absorb in the body.
Also read: Know The Many Benefits Of Eating Carbs!
Why are carbs important for you?
Nmami gives the following reasons about carbs being extremely important for your body
1. Energy productions: As mentioned above, carbs break down food into glucose, which in turn produces ATP through the process of cellular respiration. Cells in the body then use ATP to perform metabolic tasks powerfully.
2. Storage of energy: When your body has enough amount of energy for supporting its functions, it stores extra glucose in the form of glycogen. a majority of this glycogen is stored in liver and muscles. Glycogen stores in your body depend on how active you are.
3. Carbs enable building of macromolecules: Some of the glucose gets converted into ribose and deoxyribose. Both of these are essential building blocks of DNA and RNA.
Three main forms of carbs
1. Sugar:Sugar is a form of simple carb, and is essential to provide your body with energy for performing normal activities and for survival. However, it is important that you pick the right kind of sugar as sugar is usually empty calories that are not good for the body. You can opt for healthy sugar substitutes like coconut sugar, honey, jaggery, etc. You can also have fruits like grapes, mango, banana, custard apples and sapota. These fruits are rich in fructose. Make sure that you eat these foods only in moderation in case you have insulin resistance or diabetes.
2. Starch: Starch is a form of complex carb. It is made up of numerous sugar molecules that are linked together and broken down in the body. Starch can provide body with phytonutrients, fibre and minerals. Starches are an excellent source of energy for athletes. Oats, whole wheat flour, beans, potatoes cornmeal and past are instances of starchy foods.
3. Fibre:Fibre is also a form of complex carb that is not broken down by the human body. Fibrous food will thus, not provide energy to the body. Fibre is a kind of carb that does not get absorbed in the body. Most of the fibre passes through small and large intestines and is excreted from the body. Eating foods rich in fibre can facilitate better digestion and prevent constipation. Fibrous foods help in promoting feeling of fullness and satiety. Spinach, lentils, potato, oranges, banana and apples are all examples of food rich in fibre.
Thus, include more complex carbs than simple carbs in your diet. They help in retaining and absorbing nutrients from food and also provide the body with required energy.
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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