When designing our healthy diets, it is important to know the role of carbohydrates. Thus, although they are generally associated with weight gain, in reality the difference lies in knowing how to choose.
When we go on a diet, the first thing we do is to deprive ourselves of bread, pasta or rice. But is it really necessary and effective? Do all carbohydrates make us gain weight? Believe it or not, there are carbohydrates that do not make you fat and that you can eat without problems even if you are trying to lose weight.
In the rest of this article, we tell you all about them.
What are carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are biomolecules that also take the names of carbohydrates, sugars or saccharides. Their main function, in the body of living beings, is to contribute to the storage and the immediate obtaining of energy , in particular in the brain and in the nervous system .
Differences between simple and complex carbohydrates:
It is necessary to learn to distinguish simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are those that are rapidly absorbed by the body by providing instant energy and a sugar spike .
Although they are considered the “bad guys”, but the reality is not so simple. While they are the main nutrients for industrial pastries and processed foods, they are also present in fruits and vegetables . These are foods that we should consume in abundance because of their contribution of vitamins, fiber and minerals.
For their part, complex carbohydrates have a branched molecular structure, which allows the body to absorb them more slowly , thus avoiding so-called peaks in blood sugar. They are present in foods such as whole grains, nuts, whole wheat pasta or legumes.
Read also: Sweeteners against obesity myth or reality?
Why should not we eliminate all carbohydrates from our diet?
The protein diets are based on the total absence of carbohydrates in order to drive the body to ketosis. What is ketosis? That the body gets the energy it needs from fat reserves, which would help lose weight.
Although this type of protein diet may be effective in the short term , there are people who are unable to give up carbohydrates because they quickly feel the following:
- Lack of concentration
- Bad mood and irritability
- Fatigue and exhaustion
We also need to keep in mind that diets that suppress carbohydrates and increase protein too much are very dangerous to our body and, in addition, could produce the dreaded “rebound effect” .
Sources of carbohydrates that do not make you fat:
1. The wholemeal bread:
Whole grain bread is a wholegrain bread such as wheat, rye or spelled . The whole meal contains fewer carbohydrates and more nutrients (proteins, fiber, lutein and phosphocholine), vitamins and minerals that are particularly beneficial to health.
In addition, although the whole bread itself does not help you lose weight, it is true that it is a very satisfying food that allows you to control your appetite and therefore avoid possible snacking, absolutely not recommended.
2. Fruits: carbohydrates that do not make you fat:
Fruits are an essential source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and, although they contain a large amount of carbohydrates, their high fiber content and natural sugars make them ideal for supplementing slimming diets.
Among the fruits, you can find some varieties that contain less carbohydrates than others, such as avocado, pomegranate, lemon, raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, guava, papaya or grapefruit.
3. The vegetables:
Like fruits, vegetables are an important source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. With low caloric intake and low fat, vegetables help you maintain your ideal weight and fight obesity.
Vegetables also help lower cholesterol and triglycerides , prevent high blood pressure and eliminate water retention. Therefore, in our eating habits, we must incorporate these foods as the basis of our diet.
4. Dried fruits:
They contain a lot of calories, but they are the perfect snack because they contain protein, fiber and healthy fats. Several epidemiological studies have shown that people who consume them are healthier and thinner than those who do not . The risk of suffering from cardiovascular and metabolic diseases is also lower.
However, it is a type of food that must be consumed with great moderation . A handful a day is the perfect dose. Conversely, the consumption of 500 grams of cashew nuts, for example, can be counterproductive.
5. Carbohydrates that do not make you fat: quinoa:
It has a high content of protein, omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids and minerals , which provide a good dose of energy , such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. Its vitamin B and E content also makes it an excellent antioxidant.
Its slow-absorbing carbohydrates (low glycemic index) regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels, thus preventing cardiovascular disease. In addition to all this, quinoa also helps prevent hunger between meals and is an excellent choice as a source of iron for vegans.
Ancient civilizations already knew the energy properties of this cereal with high content of proteins, vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron. Oats help maintain cholesterol levels with its amino acids and omega-3 intake.
Its carbohydrates are of slow absorption , which means that its energy will be released little by little in our body. In this way, this grain satiates us longer. This same principle makes it possible to avoid sudden variations in sugar content, since its energy intake is more sustained.
Now you know that you can diet and consume carbohydrates without worry , without fear of getting fat. Enjoy your diet and lose those few extra pounds.