health & wellness

Understanding Fast And Slow Carbs For Weight Management

BP World Bureau | Nov 23 2019
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The popular opinion is that fats are responsible for weight gain. The more oil and animal fat your food has, the higher the chances of putting on weight. However, this is not entirely correct. Unhealthy fats do play a role in weight gain. But the primary culprit is carbs. It is essential that you understand fast and slow carbs for losing pounds.

Carbohydrates are one of the three essential nutrient groups necessary for our survival. It also happens to be a major part of our meals because their purpose is to provide energy. The body will convert carbs into glucose which is broken down by cells to release energy.

The amount of sugar, ie, glucose in the blood is responsible for fat deposits and weight gain. If your blood has more glucose than needed, the body will store that in the form of glycogen for future requirement. It is stored in the liver and muscles. This will be used later whenever the body is starving.

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But, what happens when the glycogen storage has reached the brim?

Once the glycogen stores are filled, carbs will be stored as fat in the adipose tissue. This fat also will be converted to glucose and burnt as energy with the help of insulin if you given the chance. However, this is easier said than done.

The simplest way to ensure that you don’t gain weight is to do not provide the body with more carbs than it needs. You need to regulate the blood sugar level to avoid weight gain. You also should know that you need glycogen stored in the body to survive because you cannot keep eating every two hours.

Also read: Vegetarian Keto Meal Plan To Change Your Life For The Better

How To Regulate Blood Sugar Level?

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You need to understand fast and slow carbs for losing pounds by regulating blood sugar levels. In simple words, fast carbs will release glucose quickly into your bloodstream and spike your blood sugar. And slow carbs like to take their time to release glucose and do not spike blood sugar. The safe choice is not spiking the blood sugar level.

You don’t have to worry about not knowing which carbs are fast and slow. You can rely on the glycemic index (GI). It is a scale that indicates how quickly glucose is released into your blood. For example, pure glucose is fastest and has a GI of 100.

Food with GI from zero to 55 is slowest and your new favourites. Foods that score between 56-69 have moderated GI. You can eat them with some regulation. The ones that score above 70 are not recommended at all.

Once you have understood fast and slow carbs for losing pounds, design a low GI diet with slow carbs. This will not only help you to lose weight but improve your cardiovascular health, cholesterol levels, and cognition.

Also read: 12 Tips On How To Eat Healthy On A Budget

 

Replacing Fast Carbs With Slow Carbs

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Most people will not be able to eliminate carbs completely from their diet. Doing so will not be healthy either. Carbs are essential for the human body. The smart decision will be to learn the GI score of carbs in the pantry. Then categorise them into fast and slow carbs for losing pounds. Now, all you have to do is replace fast carbs with slow carbs. It may be the hardest part of the plan but it will be the best thing you have ever done. Here are some tips to guide you.

1. Replace White Bread

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Have you ever wondered why white bread makes you full faster but makes you hungry soon after that? White bread is made of maida (all-purpose flour). It has no fibre or nutrients. It is a fast carb with a GI score ranging from 73 to 77. It causes a sudden peak and crashes in blood sugar levels.

You can replace white bread with other healthy, fibre-rich, nutrient-rich loaves of bread with low GI scores. They are easy to make them at home and you will have complete control over the ingredients. Some of your best bets are mixed grain bread (GI score - 34), pumpernickel bread (GI score - 41), sourdough rye bread (GI score - 48), rye bread (GI score - 50), soy and linseed bread (GI score -50), and sourdough wheat bread (GI score - 54).

Also read: 12 Health Benefits Of Ragi That Shows That Ragi Is A Superfood

2. Tweak Breakfast Cereals

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We all want a quick and easy supply of energy for breakfast. Most breakfast cereals comply that popular demand. But what you actually need is a nutritious, fibre-rich bowl of food. Otherwise, you will end up hungry by 10 AM. This is easier than you think once you understand the role of fast and slow carbs for losing pounds. Most popular breakfast cereals like corn flakes (GI score - 93), puffed rice (GI score - 78), and instant oats (GI score - 79) are categorised as high GI foods. You can replace them with wheat bran flakes and rolled oats. Both these bowls of cereal have a GI score of 55.

Also read: Six Breakfast Juices That Will Improve Your Health

3. Cook Your Potato Right

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Potatoes can be cooked in numerous ways. But did you know that cooking method can change the glycemic index of the potato? When it is raw, potato is a water-rich stem vegetable which is largely composed of carbs and little amount of fibre and protein. Most of that fibre is in its peel. So, if you can find organic potatoes, wash them thoroughly and leave the peel on to make the most of it.

Also read: 10 Water Rich Foods To Prevent Dehydration

The best ways to eat potatoes are boiled and roasted. They have a GI score of 59. Baked potatoes have a GI score of 69. All three of them falls in the moderate category of the glycemic index. They can be made healthier by adding vegetables or herbs which will increase their fibre content and nutritional value. However, mashed potatoes (GI score - 78), instant potatoes (GI score - 82), and french fries (GI score - 75) have a high GI score. They are fast carbs and should be avoided.

4. Get To Know Your Sugar Source

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When it comes to replacing sugar by understanding fast and slow carbs to lose pounds, the task is complicated. There are many types of sugar coming from various sources. The table sugar which is the most common form of sugar currently used is not a villain in terms of GI score. It falls in the category of the low glycemic index with a score from 50-54. However, harm depends on how much sugar you are consuming. Cookies, cakes, and sugary drinks have more sugar than we need. Since it has no other nutritional value, table sugar is best eliminated from your diet.

Two alternatives for table sugar are coconut sugar and jaggery. Coconut sugar's GI score falls between 50-54. Even though coconut sugar is similar to table sugar in terms of GI score, it is an unprocessed food with traces of nutrients. However, jaggery is on the higher end with a score of 84. While it doesn’t qualify as low GI food, it is loaded with antioxidants and minerals. When it comes to choosing an alternative for table sugar, you can make a choice considering how much coconut sugar or jaggery you are likely to use in a day.

Other sources of sweetness are honey (GI score - 50), fructose (GI score - 25), and Sucrose (GI score - 65). Fructose and sucrose are not dangerous when they are consumed from their natural source-fruits. However, stay away from them if you find them on the ingredient list of processed foods.