Whenever you hear the term "diet", it inadvertently infers some kind of restriction in your diet that you cannot get away with. However, the truth is that your diet can include all foods, as far you know the difference between the good and the bad in your diet. Highlighting the same is nutritionist Nmami Agarwal in her blog post shared on Instagram. "The very nature of diets is to train us to think of the foods as good foods and bad foods because they supposedly make us gain weight or cause all sorts of health conditions," she writes in her post.
The good and bad in your diet: what you should know
If you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, then you must include all food groups in your diet-fats, carbs and protein. With the coming of fad diets like keto diet, low-carb diet and low-fat diet to name a few, many people have come to believe that eating fats and carbs can make them gain weight.
The truth, however, is that cutting on your fats and carbs may help you with quick weight loss. But, this weight loss is temporary in nature and is likely to bounce back the minute you resume regular eating habits.
Fats, carbs and protein are important macro nutrients that should be a part of your diet. However, there are good carbs and bad carbs, and there is good fat and bad fat. Here's what you should know...
Good fat vs bad fat
Simply put, saturated fats are the bad fats with no nutrient value. They are the ones that cause weight gain and increase your calorie intake. Unsaturated fats are the good fats, the kind of fats that provide you energy and also keep your body warm. High fat dairy, red meat, ice cream, butter, chips, and cheese are foods that are high in saturated fat. Eating saturated fats in excess can increase bad cholesterol level. High cholesterol levels can put you at risk of heart disease.
There is also something called trans fat, which are usually found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Monounsaturated fats (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) are fats found in avocado, avocado oil, olive oil, canola oil, fatty fish, nuts and seeds. These are also healthy fats that must be a part of a healthy diet.
Good carbs vs bad carbs
Simple or refined carbs are bad carbs while complex carbs are good carbs that should be in your diet. Simple carbs consist of only one or two sugar molecules. They rapidly increase blood sugar levels. Processed foods like white sugar, candy, desserts, syrups and sugar-sweetened beverages like soda are all high in refined carbs. Simple carbs slow digestion and lack nutritive value.
Complex carbs, on the other hand, are the ones present in foods like legumes, grains, peas, potatoes, fruits and vegetables. Complex carbs are healthy carbs that are required to fulfil your satiety, make you feel energised. Brown rice, quinoa, barley, oatmeal and other whole grains are fibre-rich carbs that must be a part of a good diet.
Protein-rich foods are important in weight loss diet. They help in building muscles and also help in keeping you full for longer. Proteins are known to be building blocks of the human body. However, excess intake of proteins can be detrimental to health. Some common side effects of high protein diet include weight gain, constipation, bad breath, diarrhoea and kidney damage. Also, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian diet can provide you with sufficient protein. Eggs, nuts and seeds, chicken breast, milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, broccoli and other leafy green vegetables are protein-rich foods that you must include in a healthy diet.
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
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