The Balance of Carbs And Proteins for Optimum Health
While some believe high protein diets aid weight loss and cutting down carbs prevent weight gain, the hidden myth ¡s that there should be a correct balance between carbs and proteins. And a moderate consumption of both is the key to weight loss.
It is true that proteins burn comparatively more calories than other energy sources when they are digested, but cutting carbs completely from your diet could be detrimental to health. Carbs are a preferred source of energy and our brain, in particular, needs carbs to maintain alertness and concentration.
These are an important part of our daily diet, but the question is ‘which should be included more ¡n our daily diet and which are healthier?’ Though carbs should never be avoided, ¡t ¡s important to understand that not all carbs are alike.
Types of Carbohydrates
- Complex Carbs better known as the ‘good carbs.’
- Simple Carbs – better known as the ‘bad carbs.’
The better and health-friendly carb between the two ¡s definitely the ‘complex carbs.’ The only reason being, they contain longer chains of sugar molecules that usually take more time for the body to break and use, thus avoiding an increase in blood sugar levels. They have a lower glycemic load, which means that lower amounts of sugars are released at a more consistent rate to keep one going throughout the day. They are always higher in fibre too over simple carbs.
Picking complex carbs over simple carbs is a matter of making some simple substitutions when it comes to your meals. The sources of complex carbs are given below.
- Cereals And Whole Grains — Oats, jowar, bajra, whole wheat, broken wheat, buck wheat, whole grain breads and pastas, rye bread, muesli, and high fibre breakfast cereals.
- Beans and lentils
These are the carbs which are composed of easy-to-digest basic sugars and are of little value to the body. These are higher in sugar and lower in fibre, shooting up one’s sugar levels at a faster rate over complex carbs. The sources of simple carts are listed below.
- Soft drinks
- Fruit juices
- Sweetened syrups such as high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, etc.
- Natural sweeteners
- Foods made with refined flour such as white bread, white pasta, cakes, pastries, other bakery items and packaged cereals.
Proteins are the building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains proteins. Though proteins are important in the diet to constantly repair cells and build new ones, carbohydrates are needed to break down these proteins and get utilized by the body. The main sources of proteins include the following.
- Pulses and beans
- Nuts and seeds
- Milk and milk products
- Fish and poultry
The Balanced ratio of Carb & Proteins
When ¡t comes to weight loss or building muscle mass for body builders, a magic combination of the complex carbs and proteins help yield positive results. A typical healthy plan should contain 55- 60 per cent of the calories coming from carbohydrates and about 15-20 per cent coming from proteins.
Satiety, that feeling of fullness is also a particularly important factor in weight loss because it can impact cravings, eating frequency as well as how much one eats. Since carbohydrates and proteins are the most satiating type of nutrients, having the potential to keep one fuller for a longer time, they go hand in hand and thus need to be balanced well.
Effects Of Disturbing the Balance
- A diet very low ¡n carbs results in low fibre intake, thus increasing the risk of digestive cancers, cardiovascular diseases, constipation and other bowel issues.
- A diet low ¡n protein causes muscle or joint pain, low energy and stress, skin rashes, changes in hair texture and other protein deficiencies.
- A diet high in carbs, especially simple carbs, raises insulin levels in the body, thus increasing blood sugar levels and leading to diabetes mellitus.
- A diet extremely high in proteins is totally unsafe as it may create a load on the kidneys, thus affecting proper kidney function by preventing the elimination of wastes from the body.
Benefits of Correct Balance
- Boost in metabolism
- Builds body muscle
- Maintains a balance in body fluids
- Heals and fights infections
Remember — Carbohydrates burn and proteins build!