October 7, 2020 9:00 am
Carbohydrates or “ carbs ” has been one of the center of attention and confusion these days, especially among the “dieting” community. It has been a hotly debated topic, especially in the weight loss world, due in part to diets that promote high fat, high protein and low to no carb consumption in order to induce weight loss. These diets have resulted to a bad rap about carbohydrates as being the cause of rapid and excessive weight gain among many people.
Carbohydrates are one of the three nutrients that form a large part of diet. It provides energy to fuel our bodies just as the same way gasoline fuels the car. Carbohydrates are being broken down to its simplest form of sugar- glucose- which our cells can easily convert to energy to meet our bodies’ demands every day.
The energy we get from carbohydrates allows us to do daily activities from simple activities such as walking and talking to complex activities such as running and moving heavy objects. Fuel is also needed to sustain growth, which makes it essential for growing children and pregnant women. Even at rest, the body needs energy to perform vital functions such as maintaining body temperature, keeping the heart beating and digesting food.
There are 3 types of carbohydrates and each serves different purposes:
|Types of Carbohydrates||Simple Sugars||Fiber||Starch|
|Where is it found?||
|What does it do?||
All carbohydrates turn into glucose and raise our blood sugar, but some do it in a faster rate than others. Blood sugar control is very important for weight management and diabetes control.
Fiber containing carbohydrates (fruits, non-processed starches, plant-based foods) takes longer time to be digested, so glucose is released into the blood stream slowly and steadily. On the other hand, simple sugars and starches whose fibers were removed during processing (refined carbs) are quicker to digest leading to faster release of glucose into the bloodstream.
If carbohydrates will be eliminated from the diet, the body will turn to fat and protein for energy. This is the reason why carbohydrate-restricted diets claim they are great for weight loss. However, neither fat nor protein are efficient energy source.
No. Any food when taken in excess can result to weight gain. If there is a frequent consumption of more energy than what the body needs, weight gain would most likely happen.
Instead of totally eliminating carbohydrates, practice PROPER PORTION CONTROL.
Below are some food items that you can substitute with ½ cup of boiled white rice . The servings specified for each item will give 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams protein and 100 calories .
|1 SERVING EQUIVALENT MEASURE||FOOD ITEM|
|3-4 pieces (50 grams)||Calasiao|
|8 pieces (40 grams)||Chestnut, roasted|
|1 slice (35 grams)||Espasol|
|1 slice (50 grams)||Kalamay with Latik|
|3 pieces (50 grams)||Palitaw|
|1 piece (80 grams)||Plantains|
|1 piece (170 grams)||Potato|
|2 pieces (40 grams)||Puto bumbong|
|4 pieces (25 grams)||Puto seko|
|1 1/2 cups (250 grams)||Rice Gruel (Lugaw), Thick consistency- 1/2 cup cooked ric + 2 cups water|
|1/2 cup (80 grams)||Rice, undermiled, brown, boiled|
|Rice, undermilled,red, boiled|
|1 piece (60 grams)||Suman sa ibos|
|1/2 piece (55 grams)||Suman sa Lihiya|
|2 pieces (100 grams)||Tamales|
|1 slice (40 grams)||Tikoy|
|1 piece (35 grams)||Tupig|
|CORN AND CORN PRODUCTS|
|1/2 cup (90 grams)||Binatog|
|1/2 cup (25 grams)||Corn flakes|
|1 cup (120 grams)||Corn grits (yelow, white)|
|1/2 piece (65 grams)||Corn on cob (yellow, white)|
|1/2 cup (130 grams)||Corn, cream style, canned|
|1 cup (160 grams)||Corn, whole corn kernel, canned|
Carbohydrates are our major energy source. They should be part of a healthy diet even when trying to reduce weight. Portion control is the key to weight management, not food group elimination.
Explore new ways on how to create delicious and easy-to-cook carbohydrate dishes that you can do at home. Try our low fat version of Chicken Potato Salad which you can also serve during meal time!
Carbohydrates- Good or Bad for You? (https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/carbohydrates–good-or-bad-for-you)
Get to Know Carbs (https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/understanding-carbs/get-to-know-carb)
The truth about carbs (https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/why-we-need-to-eat-carbs/)
Deborah A. Sales, RND is a licensed nutritionist-dietitian handling the Science Communication Section of AJINOMOTO PHILIPPINES CORPORATION’s Public Relations Department. She is a technical expert in food and health and an experienced Culinary Nutrition spokesperson.