How to Identify the Healthiest Sources of Carbohydrates

Of course, you may have heard that an adequate diet contains an appropriate amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It is also very important that your body receives a sufficient amount of vitamins and microelements from food necessary for the maintenance of good health. If you want to supplement your diet with proven multivitamins, visit our health store where you can choose a vitamin complex that suits 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% – complex carbohydrates.

The first type of carbohydrate is found in these types of foods:

  • starch is the main source of glucose. It is contained in cereals and root vegetables (for example, potatoes, especially fried and fried, and in other vegetables in which it appears after their heat treatment). Some types of sauces and manufactured sausages also contain it;
  • food products that contain fructose, glucose and lactose among their ingredients;
  • sucrose and all foodstuffs containing added sugar (jams, ice creams, fruit preserves in syrup);
  • bread baked from white wheat flour, other flour products made from this flour and pasta produced from an ear of soft wheat;
  • manufactured sweets (soft drinks and juices, chocolate, candies);
  • alcohol (mainly spirits and beer);
  • junk food and instant flakes.

Foods containing the second type of carbohydrates are:

  • whole grain pasta and baked goods made from whole wheat flour;
  • brown and black rice (wild);
  • groats (except semolina);
  • sour kinds of fruits and berries;
  • greens and vegetables (for example, all types of cabbage and onion, tomatoes, peppers);
  • legumes (soya, beans, boiled red and green lentils);
  • mushrooms.

Complex carbohydrates are much healthier. So how do simple and complex carbs 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 rises sharply and then also falls rapidly. And that’s why you want to eat again in a short time.

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

Foods containing complex carbohydrates have a low glycemic index which slowly raises blood sugar levels and makes you feel full for a much longer period of time.

How to understand which of the grain products is better

As for oatmeal, the more dietary fiber it contains, the more useful it is for your health. Certain types of these dietary fibers can be fermented by beneficial bacteria that are an integral part of the intestinal microflora. Other dietary fibers, which are practically undigested, regulate intestinal motility and increase stool volume.

In addition, dietary fiber stimulates the activity and growth of beneficial bacteria, maintains a feeling of satiety for a long time and controls appetite.

They are divided into 2 large groups:

  1. Insoluble. They are part of grain products, especially whole grains.
  2. Soluble. You can find them in cereals, potatoes, other vegetables, legumes, seaweed and fruits.

In short, whole grain and cereal products are a good source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber for your diet. They are:

  • barley and pearl barley;
  • oats;
  • buckwheat;
  • rice (brown and black);
  • these kinds of durum wheat like bulgur, couscous, spelled;
  • fiber.

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

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

According to this rule, for 10 g of carbohydrates in the product, there must be at least 1 g of fiber and no more than 2 g of free sugar.

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

Thus, scientists have concluded that the 10:1:2 rule helps to quickly determine the quality of food products and choose those that are really good for 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 have to do is divide the total amount of carbs (in grams) by 10 and then check how much fiber and sugar the product contains.

For example, buckwheat contains 63 g of carbohydrates. Dividing 63 g by 10 gives 6.3. This is the number of grams of fiber that buckwheat must contain for this cereal to be considered healthy. In fact, it contains even more dietary fiber (10 g), and there is no sugar in it. Therefore, these cereals are a good source of complex carbohydrates.

You can apply this principle to assess your nutrition, but remember to be moderate in your consumption. Otherwise, even proper nutrition can lead to overweight.

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