How to Identify the Healthiest Carbohydrate Sources

Obviously you might have heard that an adequate diet contains an appropriate quantity of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It is also very important that your body gets a sufficient amount of vitamins and microelements from the foodstuffs that are needed for maintaining good health. In case you want to supplement your diet with multivitamins with proven effectiveness, please, visit our health store where you can choose a vitamin complex that is ok just for you.

What sources of carbohydrates are considered healthy

As we have already mentioned above, carbohydrates must be present in your daily meals. At the same time, only 10–20% should be simple carbohydrates (up to 40 g), and 80–90% β€” complex carbohydrates.

The first type of carbohydrates can be found in such kinds of foodstuffs:

starch is the main source of glucose. It is contained in cereals and root vegetables (e.g. potatoes, especially fried and French fries, and in other vegetables in which it appears after their heat treatment). Some kinds of manufactured sauces and sausages contain it as well;
food products that have fructose, glucose, and lactose among their ingredients;
sucrose and all foodstuffs where sugar is added (jams, ice cream, canned fruit in syrup);
bread baked from white wheat flour, other farinaceous products made from such flour, and pasta produced from an ear of soft wheat;
manufactured sweet stuff (fizzy drinks and juices, chocolate, candies);
alcohol (primarily, spirits and beer);
junk food and instant flakes.

The foods containing the second type of carbohydrates are:

whole-grain pasta and bakery products made from a whole-wheat flour;
brown and black (wild) rice;
groats (except for semolina);
acidic sorts of fruit and berries;
greens and veggies (e.g., all types of cabbage and onion, tomatoes, sweet pepper);
legumes (soy, beans, boiled red and green lentils);

Complex carbohydrates are much more advantageous for health. So, how do simple and complex carbohydrates differ?

A concept of glycemic index states that a simple carbohydrate food has a high glycemic index and is quickly absorbed by the body. This means that the blood sugar level increases sharply and then it rapidly declines as well. And that’s why you want to eat again in a short period of time.

If you regularly visit the gym, or fitness center, or do sports intensively, then simple carbohydrates in small quantities do not harm your health and even contribute to weight loss by accelerating the burning of the body fat. But in the absence of proper physical activity, jumps in glucose levels only replenish body fat and harm the work of the pancreas, cardiovascular system, and muscles. Moreover, an excess of simple carbohydrates in the diet causes a loss of insulin sensitivity, which in its turn can lead to type II diabetes.

Food containing complex carbohydrates has a low glycemic index that makes a blood sugar level rise slowly and makes you feel full for a much longer period of time.

How to understand which of the cereal products is better

As to the groats, the more alimentary fibers they contain, the more useful they are for your health. Some types of such dietary fibers can be fermented by beneficial bacteria that are an integral part of the intestinal microflora. Other food fibers, which are practically not digested, regulate intestinal motility and increase stool volume.

Moreover, the alimentary fiber stimulates the activity and growth of beneficial bacteria, maintains a sense of satiety for a long time, and controls appetite.

They are divided into 2 large groups:

Insoluble. They are part of the grain products, especially whole-grain cereals.
Soluble. You can find them in grains, potatoes, other vegetables, legumes, algae, and fruit.

In short, whole-grain and cereal products are a good source of carbohydrates and food fibers for your nutrition. They are:

barley and pearl barley;
rice (brown and black);
such kinds of durum wheat like bulgur, couscous, spelled;

With the help of the above healthy products, you can diversify your daily diet.

What is the meaning of the 10:1:2 rule?

In accordance with this rule, for every 10 g of carbohydrates in the product, there should be at least 1 g of fiber and no more than 2 g of free sugar.

In 2020 Brazilian scientists tested whether this calculation is indeed associated with a healthier diet. It turned out that people whose diet fit this rule consumed less sugar, carbohydrates, and saturated fats. At the same time, they got more fiber, protein, and microelements (iron, selenium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc). Moreover, their insulin sensitivity was higher than those who chose less healthy foods.

Thus, the scientists made a conclusion that the 10:1:2 rule helps to quickly determine the quality of the food products and choose those that are really good for your health.

How to calculate if a product is useful

It is very simple to apply the 10:1:2 rule in everyday life. All you need to do is to divide the total amount of carbohydrates (in grams) by 10, and then check how much fiber and sugar the product contains.

For instance, buckwheat contains 63 g of carbohydrates. Dividing 63 g by 10, we get 6.3. That is how many grams of fiber should be in buckwheat so that such cereals can be considered healthy. In reality, it contains even more alimentary fiber (10 g), and there is no sugar in it. Therefore, such cereals are a good source of complex carbohydrates.

You can apply this principle to evaluate your nutrition, but don’t forget to be moderate in consumption. Otherwise, even an adequate diet can lead to extra weight.

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