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Carbohydrates: An unsung hero

Arko Provo Ghosh
Arko Provo Ghosh
In a fat loss journey often people come up with this query “If we cut down carbs from our diet, will it help to loose weight faster?” The answer will be No. Every nutrient has it’s own benefits and cutting down any macronutrients won’t be much helpful in the long run. Carbohydrate has been made a villain without knowing it’s usefulness and how it can help you to loose weight.

What is carbohydrate

Carbohydrates are organic substances in foods including starch, sugar and cellulose. They consist of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms and can be classified into four different categories

* Monosaccharides - One sugar Unit
* Disaccharides - Two monosaccharides bonded together
* Oligosaccharides - 3-10 monosaccharides bonds
* Polysaccharides - more than 10 monosaccharides bonded together and form a long chain.

Monosaccharides and disaccharides are also termed as simple carbs where oligosaccharides and polysaccharides are called complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs are basically starches and fibres which take a little longer time to convert into glucose compared to simple carbs.

How it is useful

Carbohydrates are mainly useful as it is our primary resource for energy.Whenever we eat something, the digestive system breaks down it to glucose and it gets absorbed into the cells for energy. Our brain is also dependent on glucose because the neurone cannot burn fats.

When it is harmful

So when consuming carbs become harmful? Well, NEVER. It’s always your overall calories that matter. Cutting down one single micronutrient or food won’t help much. If you are on Keto or LCD but still eating more than your maintenance calories, you will keep gaining weight. Our body stores the excess glucose as glycogen in our muscles and liver. Even excess protein also gets stored as glycogen. So it’s not carbs but eating more protein can also make you gain weight if your overcall calories exceed. 

What should we do

Consuming carbs never lead to obesity or weight gain. It’s always eating more than the maintenance calories added with higher stress level, inadequate sleep and eating junk foods.Rather than ruling out a particular item, we need to focus on the overall scenario. Eat a balanced diet, engage in some physical activities. Improve our lifestyle. Choose a diet plan which you will be able to sustain longer. Follow the basic rules of Convenience, Necessity and Satiety while preparing the diet plan and selecting the food items. 

We need carbohydrates for health, but they must be the right kind of carbohydrate. Following a well-balanced diet that includes unprocessed carbohydrates, and getting enough sleep and physical activity is more likely to lead to good health and an appropriate body weight than focusing on or eliminating a particular nutrient.