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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

High Carb Diets: A Health Problem?

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are one of the three main macronutrients that provide energy to our body, along with protein and fat. Carbs are found in many foods, such as grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and sweets. Carbs are essential for our health, as they supply glucose, which is the main fuel for our brain and muscles.

However, not all carbs are created equal. Some carbs are more complex and take longer to digest, such as whole grains, beans, and vegetables. These carbs are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and can help regulate blood sugar, cholesterol, and appetite. Other carbs are more simple and digest quickly, such as refined grains, sugar, and processed foods. These carbs are low in nutrients and can cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar, leading to cravings, overeating, and weight gain.

Eating too many simple carbs can also increase the risk of various health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. These conditions are characterized by high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL (good) cholesterol, and excess abdominal fat. They can also cause inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance, which are harmful to our cells and organs.

Therefore, it is important to limit the intake of simple carbs and choose more complex carbs instead. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults get 45-65% of their daily calories from carbs, but the quality and quantity of carbs matter. A healthy diet should include more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and less refined grains, added sugars, and processed foods. A high carb diet that is based on natural and unprocessed foods can provide many health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, better blood sugar control, and weight loss.

However, a high carb diet that is based on refined and processed foods can have the opposite effect and cause many health problems. Therefore, it is not the carbs themselves that are bad, but the type and amount of carbs that we eat. By choosing more complex carbs and limiting simple carbs, we can improve our health and well-being.

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