Truth about Carbs


Saudi Gazette

Even though the new fad diets suggest one should eliminate carbs completely, you can’t take it seriously simply because it is a short-lived idea and cannot be sustained.

What is important to understand is that carbohydrates are essential but it is safe to stay away from the refined ones. Whole carbs needed for energy, growth, vitamins and development include vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. Refined carbs are what you should stay away from including sodas, all sugar-sweetened beverages, pastries and food full of additives and preservatives. What happens is fiber in fruits and vegetables changes the way the body processes sugars and slows down their digestion, making them a bit more like complex carbohydrates. These complex carbs provide you with a more consistent amount of energy and are good for you because of the longer series of sugars that they are made of which takes the body longer to break down and use energy throughout the day.

The FDA has mandated that by July 2018 all nutrition labels must clearly identify the amount of added sugars per serving in the product, directly beneath the total sugar count. The way to figure out if a source of carbohydrates is good or bad, is to check its sugar content and its relation to fiber, vitamins and minerals. The higher the sugar percentage, the worse it gets. So skip those bars drenched in sugar and low-nutrient desserts and go for fruits, vegetables and nutritious choices that provide energy you need to keep going throughout the day. You can substitute white rice with brown or quinoa based meals, or the consumption of sugar naturally occurring in fruits and milk, instead of refined or processed sugars in candies, chocolates and fizzy drinks. It is about finding the right balance.