Many people believe that carbohydrates – carbohydrates, “flours”, or carbohydrates – are “substances that make you fat” and that you have to banish when you are on a diet. Big mistake! Carbohydrates are our primary fuel and play a vital role in the diet. They must contribute between 50 and 60% of the energy we consume daily.
But from my experience, I know that there is a lot of confusion and many preconceptions about this topic. So, from the outset, we must clarify what carbohydrates are because they are not only rice, pasta or bread; fruits, vegetables, and vegetables are also carbohydrates.
You are right. I know that now I have surprised you, as it happens to many of my patients when we talk about this topic, that I know that it brings everyone who wants to lose some weight head to head. Many people associate carbohydrates only with bread, sweets, or sugary drinks.
These foods provide us with energy instantly, but other products are rich in complex carbohydrates that are much healthier. Apart from legumes and whole grains, they are also found in greens and vegetables and fruits.
It is recommended to take about 60-80 g of bread or 40 g of cereals; a portion of pasta, rice or legumes weighing about 60-80 g raw; a plate of salad of 200 g plain; one of the vegetables and 2-3 pieces of fruit a day.
We can differentiate between fast and slow carbohydrates according to the speed they pass into the blood. The fast-absorbing ones – sugar, white bread, fruit juices – are transformed into glucose in a few minutes, giving you a good energy boost, which can come in handy if you are doing an intense activity.
The problem is that if the body does not consume this energy (glucose), it is initially stored in the liver and muscles, and the rest (if it is excessive) is transformed into fat, increasing the “love handles”.
In general, yes. They are made up of complex molecules that take longer to absorb. The advantage is that they provide you with energy gradually and avoid the appearance of excess glucose in the blood, which often ends up being transformed into fat.
Absolutely. A couple of concepts can help you plan your diet: the glycemic index (GI) and the glycemic load (GL). The index measures the increase in blood glucose after eating a meal. Diets with a low index prevent glucose from rising rapidly.
The body receives energy progressively, and the cells absorb it better. And glucose is, for its part, the primary source of energy used by the cells of our body.
No, that is why it is interesting to know the glycemic load (GL), which considers both the quality of carbohydrates and the quantity. Generally, a low glycemic load food also has a low glycemic index, but not always.
The tips that I usually give my patients so that the carbohydrates they eat release their energy more slowly and help them feel fuller for longer are the following:
Mix fruit and nuts. It’s a good combination, and you avoid glucose spikes. The pasta, al dente. This way, it is digested much better, and its energy is absorbed much more slowly than when it is overcooked.
Better whole fruit than juices. Because the fibre in the fruit, which is in the pulp, means that it is not metabolized quickly.
Accompany vegetables and salads with cereals or legumes. With this combination, you will get energy more slowly, and you will feel satiated for longer.
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