Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy to the body providing four calories per gram. Carbohydrates, commonly referred to as “carbs” fuels the body’s energy needs. Carbohydrates comprise of both simple sugar and complex carbohydrates. They are considered as an ideal source of energy as they are easily converted into glucose that is used up by the body readily than proteins or fats. Carbohydrates are found in a wide array of foods like bread, potatoes, whole grains, beans and legumes, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, soft drinks, popcorn and cookies. Eating too much of carbohydrates can lead to weight gain irrespecive of what foods you get your energy from.
How much carbohydrates does a person need daily:
The daily carbohydrate requirement depends on the daily calorie need. Moreover the amount of carbohydrates absolutely essential per day depends on whether the person wishes to lose weight or not. If you are planning to reduce weight then the recommended dosage per day is 20 to 70 grams depending upon the nature and level of your physical activity. Whereas for those who do not intend to reduce weight the recommended carbohydrate intake per day is 180 to 230 grams. It should be noted that as opposed to protein or fat there is no specific minimal daily intake of carbohydrate to maintain good health.
Ways to reduce daily intake of carbohydrates:
It is quite amazing to note that it has been proven scientifically that a human body can survive without carbohydrates at all. It can derive the necessary sugar from the other food groups like the proteins. However if the body requires energy immediately it can be acquired only from carbohydrates as they are an abundant source of energy. Mostly carbohydrates are unintentionally or negligently overeaten. Carbohydrates are sugars and when they are not effectively burned out by the body through physical activity it gets accumulated as fat. Hence substitute those extra carbohydrates with proteins and other vegetables which are easily digestible and less in calories and sugars. This is a perfect way to stay healthy and also to lose weight.
If you intend to reduce weight then it is absolutely essential to keep a check on your carbohydrate intake. There are ways to enjoy the food you like yet stick to a low carb diet. There are many ways of avoiding those problematic carbs yet gettting enough energy needed to maintain a healthy body. Remember cutting back carbs is not quite distressing and difficult if you following the following tips.
1. Try eating those whole wheat bread varieties instead of the ones made with white flour. Hence choose the whole wheat bread varieties over the highly processed white ones. Opt for whole grains and avoid processed sugars and flours.
2. Learn to consume meals without a beverage. In doing so you can avoid the carbohydrates in the drink and also promote a better digestion.
3. Replace your breakfast carbs intake with high protein alternative food stuffs which will keep off your hunger and stay you energized till lunch.
4. Exchange a pack of your favorite crunchy chips with a few protein enriched nuts. This is a great way to add more proteins and healthy fats in your diet, instead of carbs. Remember these potato chips and cookies are made with refined flour, sugar, salt and oil.
5. Reduce the intake of pasta and include liberal quantities of fresh vegetables as the fiber content in the raw vegetables will make you feel fuller. Moreover raw vegetables do not contribute to much carbs. You can also rinse off the starch in the cooked pasta or potato to lower your carb intake. Remember spaghetti is a healthy alternative to pasta. You can also switch over to the whole wheat pasta. Try to incorporate lots of whole grains like brown rice and barley in your diet.
6. Boil potatoes with their skin on and have them in moderate quantities instead of totally avoiding them. Moreover the new varieties of potatoes have less simple carbs than the other varieties.
7. Avoid sports and energy drinks that are usually high in calories and instead have a cup of tea or coffee without sugar. This offers the same energy boost that you need. Stay away from sodas as they have no nutritive value but unhealthy carbs alone.
8. Prefer to eat whole fruits instead of fruit juices. Remember juices lack the essential fiber but are high in calories. However when opting for a fruit juice look out for the 100% pure, fresh fruit juice without any added sugar in it.
9. Your favorite sauces and dips are loaded with calories and fat. Hence it is best to avoid them.
10. Restrict fast foods and choose to eat more of fresh salads and low fat yogurts.
11. Try the almond milk or the soy milk instead of the regular milk. Almond milk is amazingly good and lighter than milk. Soy milk has a rich texture but both have less carb when compared to regular milk.
12. Desserts and confectionary items may taste good but tend to increase your carb intake and have less nutritive value also. So it is better to opt for fruit desserts without sugar.
13. Sandwich your buns with slices of lettuce leaves instead of chicken or meat which adds a crunch and a different taste to it.
14. Eat frequent meals until you are satisfied and not stuffed. Do not wait to a point where you are extremely hungry as you will naturally tend to over eat. Your body will also crave for sugary, bad carbs to satisfy your need for energy quickly.
15. Consume fresh and natural foods as far as possible. Remember processed foods are high in fats, carbohydrates and calories.
The best way to reduce carb intake in your daily diet is to make healthy yet creative substitutions and alternatives. In this way you can eat the foods that you love and stay healthy too. You can avoid white flour, pasta and potatoes by replacing them with alternatives that taste almost similar and identical to it. In this manner you can reduce your carb intake without compromising on your health or taste. Start prioritizing your health now by avoiding or reducing the intake of carbs.