• Taniya Sanyal

High carb, Low carb or No carb?

Updated: Jul 1

What is carbohydrate?

Carbohydrate is one of the macronutrients along with protein and fat. It contributes most of the calories in our daily diet. After digestion carbohydrates break food down to sugar which is also a saccharide

Types of carbohydrates.

There are mainly four types of carbohydrate-based on their molecular structure.

  • monosaccharide

  • disaccharide

  • oligosaccharide

  • polysaccharide

Monosaccharides are the simplest form of carbohydrate. There are two types of polysaccharides. Starch and fiber.

Our digestive tract does not respond to all carbohydrates the same.

Starch and fiber both are polysaccharides, both derived from plants, both composed of 100 and 1000 monosaccharides join together but they join together differently and that's the reason they have a different effect on our body.

In starches, glucose molecule joins by an alpha bond which is easily cleaved by enzymes in our body and quickly release a whole bunch of glucose into our blood. This type of carb known as High glycemic index carbohydrate.

But in fiber bonds between monosaccharide molecules are beta bonds that our body can't break down. These indigestible beta bonds slow down the release of glucose into the blood. These types of carbs are low glycemic index carbohydrates

Why do we need carbohydrates?

Our body uses carbohydrates to make glucose which is the body's main energy source

Many cells prefer glucose as a source of energy versus other compounds like fatty acids.

Some cells such as red blood cells are only able to produce cellular energy from glucose.

The brain also highly sensitive to low blood glucose levels because it uses only glucose to produce energy.

Carb is good or bad for you.

Carbs can be either high glycemic index or low glycemic index. Our body breaks down HGI carb more easily than LGI carb. This means high glycemic index carbs are a good source of quick energy. However, eating too much HGI carbs can negatively impact our body as they cause blood sugar to spike quickly. Low glycemic index carbs provide energy slowly but they provide energy for a longer time. So it would be good to plan your meal according to your body's needs.

Dietary recommendation.

Dietary recommendation of carbohydrates depends on the following factors

  • work type of individual

  • Presence or absence of any disease

  • meal pattern

While adding carb in meal one should remember that 30% carb should be HGI carb and rest should be LGI carb. (Not for the people with diabetes, obesity, cardiac disease)

*Foods that contain carbohydrates*

HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX CARBOHYDRATES

•potato

• honey

•white bread

•soda

•corn

•white rice (depends on o variety)

•cakes

•banana

•watermelon

•sweets

• milk tea

LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX FOOD

•Sweet potatoes

•peas

•brown rice

•basmati rice

•carrots

•Rolled oats.


There are some factors that can affect the glycemic index of a food

◆Ripeness and stored time

◆ processing

◆ cooking method

◆ variety

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