Carbohydrates play a very important role in our body. It gives us energy and it helps in the proper functioning of the immune system, blood clotting and fertilization. It is very important to keep track of our carbohydrates intake to avoid several health problems. Excessive consumption may lead to diabetes, obesity and cancer; while deficiency may lead to hypoglycemia. Below is a list of foods high in carbs that we need to limit or avoid.
1. Granulated Sugar and Fructose
Each time we consume sugar, our body may burn it for energy or it may be converted to fat and stock in our fat cells and lead to heart disease, fatty liver and diabetes. The added sugar recommendation for women is no more than 6 teaspoon or 30 grams a day and no more than 9 teaspoon or 45 grams a day for men. Too much sugar can be bad for the health, so moderation is the key.
2. Soda or Cola
Soda or Cola may have a good taste but is not healthy in any amount. It is basically a liquid candy with high calorie and sugar content. Our bloodstream has about 1 tablespoon of sugar and when we drink a 12 oz can of soda, we are ingesting about 42 g of carbohydrate or 3.36 tablespoons of granulated sugar all at the same time!
The ugly truth about cereals is, not all of them are healthy. When choosing which breakfast cereal to buy, take no notice on the front of the box. Just check the label and always look for one with 4 or 5 grams of fiber (or at least 3 grams) and no more than 10 grams or two teaspoonful of sugar per serving.
4. Hard Candies
A piece of candy has about 10 grams of carbohydrates and over 25 grams of sugar. If you eat candies regularly, it will definitely affect your health because of the large amounts of sugar and fats that it can provide your body. The best way to satisfy your cravings is to eat heart-healthy dark chocolate without any unnatural fillings a few times per week.
5. Snacks and Crackers
The majority of the widely consumed snack foods are high in added sugar or refined carbohydrates and low in nutrients. Taking too much of these foods can cause high blood triglyceride levels and at the same time decrease the level of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in our body. If you follow a 1,800-calorie diet, you can take 157 grams of carbohydrates for snacking, and the rest for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
6. Refined Flours
A cup of refined or white flour is equivalent to 95.4 grams of carbohydrates, and along with refined sugar, it can contribute to obesity and other serious health conditions because it contains almost no vitamins or natural minerals. You can eat 8-11 servings of white flour every day or better yet replace it with whole wheat flour.
7. Cakes and Cookies
Never allow the low fat low-carb label fool you. Cakes and cookies always contain high carbohydrates. When baking cakes and cookies, the total flour used is almost 80% carbohydrates that can make your blood sugar change suddenly or go on a roller coaster ride. If you eat a piece of cake with frosting, then you have consumed a very unhealthy amount of added sugar.
8. Preserves and Jams
These are mostly fruit-based. One tablespoon of regular jams and preserves contain about 14 grams of carbs. Thicker jams and preserves have less water so they contain higher carbohydrates. You can opt for low-sugar jam that has at least 25% less sugar compared to regular jam for much healthier option.
The total carbs found in a potato is 36 grams, and that includes all of the starch, fiber and starch. Even a healthy baked potato has carbs! Adults are recommended to consume 130 grams of total carbs daily, so eating one medium-sized potato can provide 21 to 28 percent of your whole day’s carbohydrates needs.
10. Bread and Pasta
Whole grain bread and pasta also contain carbohydrates. One slice of whole-grain bread consists of 20 grams of carbohydrate. The best way to avoid overeating is to carefully measure your portions. If you want to cut down on carbs, you can try other alternatives such as Napa or Chinese cabbage that can eliminate 29 grams of carbs per sandwich. For pasta, the best choices are buckwheat and quinoa.
Something to Remember
Carbohydrates are not unhealthy, in fact, they are a large part of almost all of human diet and are important sources of nutrients. Your daily consumption of carbohydrates should be well- balanced with the proper intake of protein, fiber and a little fat for your body to function properly.