Whole versus refined carbohydrates

The amount of carbs we ought to consume is a highly controversial topic especially when it comes to Whole versus Refined Carbohydrates. Although, before coming to that, there are some primary dietary confusions. On one hand, some dietary guidelines suggest that we get about half of our calories from carbohydrates. Conversely, other health reports suggest that excessive consumption of carbs may lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes and most of us
should try to avoid them. While there are logical arguments on both sides,
statistics confirm that our bodies need a balanced diet to function properly.
Whole and refined carbohydrates are both consumed for daily meals. But which
one is better and why choose one over the other? These are some important
questions regarding our food selection. In this competitive world, you need to
remain active and focused and eat well. One plate of a healthy meal means
consuming all essential nutrients important for a healthy and balanced diet, but
not all grains and carbohydrates are created equally.
Dietary carbohydrates are composed of 3 main components: Sugars, starches,
and fibre. Carbohydrates serve as fuel to our bodies and give us energy because
they enter our bodies, they get broken down into glucose that can be used as
energy or get stored as fat. The fibre in carbohydrates does not give us energy,
however, it feeds bacteria into our digestive system that can be used as energy as
well. However, not all carbohydrates have the same composition, for there are
many different types that can vary in their health effects.
We have classified carbohydrates into 2 categories: Whole and Refined
carbohydrates. Whole carbs contain fibre, are unprocessed, and are found naturally in
food. On the flip side, refined carbs are processed and have had their natural
fibres removed or changed thus changing their chemical composition and turning
it into sugar. The reason why diabetics and health-conscious individuals are
advised to stop eating foods containing processed carbs is that such carbs provide
our bodies with minimal nutrition and essentially turn into unhealthy sugars that
spike our insulin levels when they are digested. Some examples of whole carbs
that nutritionists encourage us to eat are quinoa, vegetables, barley, legumes,
and potatoes. Sweet potatoes are better to consume than regular ones
because they contain more fibre and beta keratin. On the other hand, examples
of foods containing refined carbohydrates which we have been encouraged to
avoid are sugar-sweetened beverages, white bread, and pastries because
numerous studies have shown that excessive refined carbohydrate consumption
has been linked to the health conditions we talked about.
All in all, we have discussed a general overview of refined versus unrefined
carbohydrates and this dietary advice are not written in stone. Thus, if you have a
specific health condition and are unsure as to how much carbs and what kind you
should or shouldn’t incorporate into your diet, it would be best to consult a
nutritionist or dietitian to receive the most accurate advice about how to plan
your meals.

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