Carbohydrates play an essential role in overall well being however, some people believe that eating carbs can lead to weight gain. Different people have various views regarding the topic. But first, let’s have a look at what are carbs.
Carbohydrates or carbs are an essential component of a diet. It is one of the macronutrients that are necessary for the smooth functioning of the body. Carbs can be found in three forms ie. sugar, starch, and fiber. Sugar is also known as a simple carbohydrate as it provides energy to the body. It can be found in various foods naturally, such as fruits, veggies, and milk. Consuming foods that contain natural sugar does not lead to weight gain as they have a good amount of nutrients and are considered healthy. Eating foods with added sugar in surplus quantity leads to weight gain. Starches are said to be complex carbs as they need to break down into sugar to be absorbed by the body. Starchy food is good for the body when consumed in a measured quantity. Fiber is also a complex carb and is great for your digestive health. It helps you feel full for a longer time by reducing the pace at which the food is absorbed. It is necessary to steer clear from highly processed carbs as they offer zero nutritional value and increase the calorie intake which can lead to weight gain.
Carbs and weight
It can be said that carbs cannot result in weight gain instantly. Various factors need to be considered to identify that the weight gain is a result of eating too many carbs. Processed carbs and carbs with lots of sugar are high in calories, consumption of such food can cause weight gain. However, you can enjoy high-calorie foods once in a while when you make the right choices. Hence, it can be said that when you make the right choice of carbs it will not lead to weight gain.
Now let us have a look at how many carbs can you consume in a day without leading to weight gain. Although there is no exact amount recommended by health professionals, however, it is advised that around 45-60% of your total calories should come from carbohydrates. Consuming more than 65-70% carbs can lead to weight gain and it can also affect the intake of other essential macronutrients. Following a low-carb diet for a long time can also affect your health negatively. When you consume fewer carbs your body is unable to get enough energy as carbs are the main source of energy for the body. It can affect your daily activities like sleeping. It can make concentration a difficult task which can affect your work. It can also influence your mood and leave you with a short temper. Hence it can be said that underconsumption, as well as overconsumption of carbs, can harm your health. Maintaining a balance is the key to maintaining a healthy weight and preventing weight gain. The blood sugar level is also affected by the number of carbs you consume. The carbs consumed are broken down into glucose which is used by the body to fuel energy. Hence, when you consume carbs that are calorie-dense it can cause a spike in the blood sugar level. When such a condition persists for a long time it can increase your risk of getting diabetes. However, in some cases, it was seen that if people did not consume the right amount of carbs it can result in low blood sugar levels.
One thing that can be done when looking for carbs that should be consumed, try to choose carbs that have a low glycemic index. Glycemic index (GI) refers to a number that is given to a particular food item based on its ability to get absorbed and affect the blood sugar level. In other words, it determines how quickly certain food can affect the blood sugar level. Foods can be classified into three levels based on their glycemic rank. Food having a GI value till 55 can be considered as low, foods that have a GI value of more than 55 but below 70 can be considered as medium and a GI value of more than 70 can be considered as high GI rank. GI value can differ based on various other factors also. Method of cooking can affect the GI value of food as it is possible that when food is fried its GI value will be less although its fat content will be more. Similarly, for fruits and vegetables, the degree of ripeness can affect the GI value. For instance, an under-riped banana falls in the category of low GI however, when the banana is over-riped it comes under the medium GI category. Carbs with low GI value can be consumed in a certain quantity without the risk of weight gain. Foods that have a low glycemic number are fruits like oranges, apples, and grapefruit. Vegetables like spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and cauliflower. Whole foods like oats, quinoa, buckwheat, and barley can be enjoyed without the fear of weight gain. Some legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans can also be consumed in some quantity. This will not only help you in preventing weight gain but also promotes weight loss and provide various health benefits like aids in reducing cholesterol levels.
Another way to manage weight while consuming carbs is to opt for carbs with a good amount of fiber and keto strong diet. Fiber offers various health benefits like aids in weight loss, improves bowel health, and more. It helps you feel full for a longer time thereby reducing the chances of weight gain.
Therefore, it can be concluded that consumption of carbs does not affect your weight but the overall choices you make do. It is not about what carb you consume but it is about how much and how often you consume it. It is recommended to opt for carbs that offer nutritional value and are not just calorie-dense. This way you can consume more carbs without the risk of weight gain.