When designing our healthy diets, it is important to know the role of carbohydrates. So, although they are generally associated with weight gain, in reality, the difference lies in knowing how to choose.
The first thing we do when dieting 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 a problem even if you are trying to lose weight.
In the rest of this article, we will inform you all about them.
What are carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are biomolecules which also take the names of carbohydrates, sugars or saccharides. Their main function, in the organism of living beings, is to contribute to the storage and immediate obtaining of energy, in particular in the brain and in the nervous system.
The differences between simple and complex carbohydrates
It is necessary to learn to distinguish simple carbohydrates from complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are those that are quickly absorbed into the body by providing instant energy and a spike in sugar.
Although they are considered the “bad guys”, but the reality is not the same. While they are the main nutrients in industrial pastries and processed foods, they are also found in fruits and vegetables. The latter is, however, foods that we should consume in abundance because of their contribution in vitamins, fibers, 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 blood sugar spikes. They are present in foods such as whole grains, nuts, whole wheat pasta or legumes.
Why shouldn’t 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 meant by ketosis? That the body gets the energy it needs from the fat stores, which would help lose weight.
While 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 experience the following things:
- Lack of concentration
- Bad mood and irritability
- Fatigue and exhaustion
We also need to keep in mind that diets that cut down on carbohydrates and increase proteins too much end up being very dangerous for our body and, moreover, could produce the dreaded “rebound effect”.
Carbohydrate sources that don’t make you fat
1. Wholemeal bread
Wholemeal bread is bread made from whole grains such as wheat, rye or spelt. Wholemeal flour contains fewer carbohydrates and more nutrients (proteins, fibers, lutein, and phosphocholine), vitamins and minerals which are particularly beneficial for health.
In addition, although wholemeal 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 don’t make you fat
Fruits are an essential source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and, although they contain a large number of carbohydrates, their high content of fiber and natural sugars makes them ideal for supplementing slimming diets.
Among the fruits, you can find some varieties that contain fewer carbohydrates than the others, such as avocado, pomegranate, lemon, raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, guava, papaya or grapefruit.
Like fruits, vegetables are an important source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Thanks to their low caloric intake and their lack of fat, vegetables help you maintain your ideal weight and fight against obesity.
Vegetables also help lower cholesterol and triglycerides, prevent high blood pressure, and eliminate fluid 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 it 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 should be eaten in moderation. A handful a day is the perfect dose. Conversely, consuming 500 grams of cashews, for example, can be counterproductive.
5. Carbohydrates that don’t make you fat: quinoa
It has a high content of proteins, 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 make it an excellent antioxidant.
Its slowly absorbed carbohydrates (low glycemic index) regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels, thereby preventing cardiovascular disease. On top of all that, quinoa also helps prevent hunger between meals and is a great choice as a source of iron for vegans.
Ancient civilizations already knew the energetic properties of this cereal with a high content of proteins, vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron. Oats help maintains cholesterol levels through its amino acids and omega-3 intake.
Its carbohydrates are slowly absorbed, which means that its energy will be released gradually in our body. In this way, this cereal satiates us longer. This same principle avoids sudden variations in sugar content since its energy intake is more sustained.
Now you know you can diet and consume carbohydrates without worry, without fear of getting fat. Take advantage of your diet and lose those extra pounds.