How To Increase My Carbohydrate Intake

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how to increase my carbohydrate intake

Carbohydrates: What role do carbs play in a healthy diet?

Carbohydrates aren't all bad, but some are better than others. Learn why carbs are important for your health and how to choose the right ones.

Carbohydrates frequently receive a bad rap, particularly when it comes to weight gain. Carbohydrates, also known as carbs, aren't all bad. Carbohydrates have a legitimate place in the diet due to their numerous health benefits. In fact, carbs are required for the body to function properly.

However, some carbs are better for you than others. Learn more about carbohydrates and how to eat a healthy diet.


Carbohydrate Understanding

Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient that can be found in a variety of foods and beverages. The majority of carbs are found naturally in plant-based foods such as grains. Carbohydrates are also added to processed foods by food manufacturers in the form of starch or added sugar.

Carbohydrates can be found naturally in a range of foods, including:

  • Fruits\sVegetables
  • Milk\sNuts\sGrains\sSeeds
  • Lentils, beans, and peas
  • Carbohydrate Types

Carbohydrates are classified into three types:

Sugar. Sugar is the most basic type of carbohydrate. It is found naturally in some foods, such as fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products. Fruit sugar (fructose), table sugar (sucrose), and milk sugar are all examples of sugar (lactose). Added sugars can be found in a variety of foods, including cookies, sugary drinks, and candy.

Starch. Starch is a type of carbohydrate that is both simple and complex. This means that it is made up of many sugar units that are bonded together. Natural sources of starch include vegetables, grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.

Fiber. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate as well. It naturally occurs in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.


13 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Carbohydrate Consumption

Carbohydrates are often portrayed as the enemy in modern diet culture, but this is not the case. Carbohydrates are an essential component of most diets. In fact, complex carbohydrates derived from whole, unprocessed plant foods are typically high in nutrients.

However, in some cases, reducing carbohydrate intake may provide real health benefits. This is especially true for simple carbohydrates, which are derived from highly processed foods and do not provide additional nutrients.

Low carb diets may aid in weight loss and better management of diabetes or prediabetes in adults with higher body weights, according to research.

If your nutritionist or doctor has advised you to cut back on carbs as part of a healthier lifestyle overhaul (which usually includes other aspects such as physical activity), here are 13 simple ways to do so.


1. Limit your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages.

The majority of sugar, whether fructose, lactose, maltose, sucrose, or glucose, is classified as a simple carbohydrate. Simple carbohydrates provide quick energy, causing your blood sugar to spike and your pancreas to secrete insulin.

Sugar-sweetened drinks, such as sodas or sweetened iced teas, can add a lot of extra carbs to your diet in the form of sugar.

One can (12 fluid ounces) of non-diet cola, for example, contains 35 grams of carbs, while one small sweetened iced tea drink contains 29.5 grams of carbs. These carbs are almost entirely made up of sugar.

Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has been linked to the onset of type 2 diabetes, so limiting your intake of these beverages may help reduce your risk of developing the condition.

Flavored seltzers are a great substitute if you're looking for something refreshing.


2. Reduce your consumption of refined grain bread.

Many breads, particularly whole grain breads, are high in vitamins and minerals. Unrefined whole grain bread is also classified as a complex carb, which means it takes longer to digest and affects blood sugar gradually rather than abruptly.

While refined grain breads, such as white bread, aren't always higher in carbs than whole grain breads, the refining process can reduce the bread's micronutrient and fiber content.

Because the bread lacks fiber, the sugar and carbs in it are processed quickly in the body, causing blood sugar spikes. This can contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes over time.

Sticking to a moderate amount of whole grain bread, or reducing your overall bread consumption, can help you consume fewer simple carbs that can spike blood sugar.


3. Consider fruit juice.

Fruit juice, unlike whole fruit, contains little to no fiber and is typically high in fructose, a type of fruit sugar that is also considered a simple carb.

Although it contains some vitamins and minerals, fruit juice is very similar in terms of sugar and carbs to sugar-sweetened beverages (such as soda).

For example, 1 bottle (approximately 10 fluid ounces) of 100% apple juice contains 35 grams of carbs, the majority of which is sugar.

If you want to consume fewer carbs, consider eating a piece of fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. Whole fruit is usually just as sweet, and it contains fiber, which may help diabetics with blood sugar spikes.


4. Select low-carb snacks.

Carbohydrates in snack foods like chips, pretzels, and crackers can quickly add up. This is due to the fact that these salty, savory snacks are typically low in protein and fiber, two macronutrients that contribute to a full feeling.

As a result, you may end up eating far more than you intended.

Incorporating more low carb snacks with a high protein and fiber content can help you feel satisfied.

If you're looking for some inspiration, nuts, cheese, and eggs are high in protein and low in carbs. There are also a plethora of low carb snack roundups on the internet that can help inspire your creativity.


5. Begin your day with eggs or other low-carbohydrate breakfast foods.

Even if they appear "healthy" at first glance, breakfast foods can contain hidden amounts of carbs and sugar.

A cup of store-bought granola, for example, can have around 68 grams of carbs, while a cup of Raisin Bran cereal can have around 46 grams.

Breakfast cereals, while containing vitamins and fiber, can be high in simple carbohydrates due to added sugar. Long-term consumption of sugary foods can cause blood sugar spikes in people who already have diabetes.

Consider incorporating more eggs into your morning routine if you're looking for options with fewer simple carbs.

One egg contains less than one gram of carbohydrates. Eggs are also a high-quality protein source, which can help you feel fuller for longer and possibly eat less the rest of the day.

Furthermore, eggs are extremely versatile and can be prepared in a variety of ways, including hard boiling for a quick breakfast. Low sugar yogurt, crustless quiche, nut butter on celery sticks or low carb bread, and a breakfast skillet with vegetables and potatoes are some other low carb breakfast ideas.


6. Use sugar substitutes

While many people enjoy adding sugar to their coffee or tea, it can add a lot of carbs. While honey is a more natural sweetener, it is still pure sugar. One tablespoon has 17 grams of carbs, all of which are sugar.

If you want to keep your sweetened coffee, there are plenty of sugar substitutes that are low in sugar or even sugar-free:

Stevia. Stevia is derived from the stevia plant, which was discovered in South America. Several studies have suggested that stevia may have a potential blood glucose-lowering effect in diabetics.

Erythritol. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that tastes like sugar, has no effect on blood sugar or insulin levels, and may help prevent cavities by killing plaque-causing bacteria.

Xylitol. Another sugar alcohol, xylitol, also aids in the fight against the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Furthermore, research indicates that it may be beneficial for blood sugar management.


7. Examine the carbohydrate content of restaurant meals.

Eating out can be difficult in the early stages of a low carb diet or after deciding to drastically reduce your carb intake.

Even if you order meat or fish without breading or gravy, you'll usually get a side of potatoes, rice, pasta, or bread. Depending on the portion size, which is often large, these starches can add 30 or more grams of carbs to your meal.

When ordering a meal at a restaurant, keep an eye on the portion sizes (could you take half the starch home? ), and consider ordering a side salad to increase your fiber intake and help you feel fuller faster.


8. Use alternative flours in place of white flour.

White flour is commonly used as the base for many baked goods, such as breads, muffins, and cookies, and it is also used to coat most fried foods. White flour is a refined grain, which means that many of the nutrients and fiber have been removed.

Because it contains less fiber, it digests more quickly and may cause insulin spikes in people with type 2 diabetes. You might also feel less satisfied after consuming something made with refined flour

If you're craving baked goods, try substituting whole grain flour for white flour, which contains more fiber and has a better nutritional profile.

You could also try substituting coconut or almond flour for white flour, as these alternatives are lower in carbs. These flours, however, have a higher fat content than white or whole grain flour.

When purchasing foods made with alternative flours or baking with them, keep in mind that the finished product may be denser due to a lack of gluten less refinement (coconut flours) (for whole wheat flour).


9. Prioritize non-starchy vegetables.

Vegetables are a good source of fiber and nutrients. They also contain phytochemicals (plant compounds), many of which act as antioxidants, aiding in disease prevention.

However, if you're trying to limit your carbohydrate intake, it's critical to focus on non-starchy vegetables.

Non-starchy vegetables recommended by the American Diabetes Association include artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, and tomatoes.


10. Emphasize high-protein foods.

If you like carbs but are trying to cut back, one of the best ways to keep yourself satisfied is to eat high protein foods.

Protein has been shown to help increase satiety, which means it keeps you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. It may also assist you in eating less throughout the day.

Furthermore, protein has a slightly higher thermic value than fat or carbs, which means it requires more calories to digest.

By emphasizing protein-rich foods (while still supplementing your diet with complex carbohydrates), you may be able to lose some weight.


11. Increase your intake of healthier fats.

When you reduce your carbohydrate intake, you may find yourself eating more protein as well as fat.

If you're on a weight-loss or weight-maintenance plan, focusing on healthier fats can help you stay on track.

While research has been mixed on what exactly makes a certain type of fat good for us, foods like fatty fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and dairy consistently show up as quality fats.

Moderation and variety, as with everything else, are essential.


12. Read food labels carefully.

Food labels contain useful information about the carbohydrate content of packaged foods.

Paying attention to serving size is also important, especially when eating foods that are high in sugar (simple carbs) and have smaller serving sizes than many people are accustomed to eating.

Cereal packaging and commercials, for example, frequently exaggerate serving size depictions, making it easier for people to consume more than one serving at a time.


13. Use a nutrition tracker to count carbs.

A nutrition tracker is an excellent tool for tracking your daily food intake. The majority are available as smartphone and tablet apps, as well as online.

When you enter carbs and other nutrients into the tracker, they are automatically calculated. The majority of the data in these food databases is reliable. Keep in mind, however, that some of these systems allow users to input personalized nutrition data, which may or may not be true.


How much carbohydrate do you require?

Carbohydrates should account for 45 to 65 percent of total daily calories, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Carbohydrates should account for between 900 and 1,300 calories per day if you consume 2,000 calories per day. This translates to 225-325 grams of carbohydrates each day.

The Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods lists the carbohydrate content. which can include fiber, total sugars, and added sugars.


Last Word 

In some cases, reducing carbohydrate intake — particularly simple carbs found in processed foods that don't contain many other nutrients — may provide some health benefits. This is especially true if you have type 2 diabetes.

If your doctor or nutritionist has advised you to eat fewer carbs, it is still possible (and recommended) to eat a varied diet.

Concentrating on protein, fiber, complex carbs, and healthy fats will keep you satisfied throughout the day and provide the nutrients you need for a balanced diet.


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