Carbohydrates are central sources of energy that we need for us to sustain a day’s activity. They are abundant in calorie. Examples of this are bread, noodles, cereals, pasta, rice and chapatti. Apart from potatoes, all carbohydrate foods are produced from grains. It has two kinds; the unrefined and refined.
Unrefined grains are Whole Grains. They are composed of three parts, namely, endosperm, bran and the germ. The Endosperm is a starch-concentrated portion. Eighty percent of grain is composed of it. The Bran is abundant in dietary fiber, phytochemicals and Vitamin B. It is found on the outermost layer of the grain. The last component is the Germ. It is rich in proteins and healthy fats.
Whole Grains are responsible for combating Coronary Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and some cancers. Examples are brown rice, cracked wheat or bulgur, wild rice, barley, oats in porridge form, popcorn and refined grains. When Grains are milled, they are refined from the bran and the germ, leaving the endosperm. They are in the form of Whites-white pasta, white rice and white bread.
Fiber and Benefits
Fruits, Vegetables and Grains are a great source of Dietary Fiber, which helps in keeping a healthy digestive system, regulates bowel movement and help lower blood cholesterol. Fiber has two groups: soluble and insoluble. Soluble Fiber dissolves in water. It is best for maintaining blood sugar level. It is readily available in beans, oat products and fruits. Insoluble Fiber goes straight to the digestive system because it cannot be dissolved in water. It is also found in other vegetables and whole grains.
For enhancement and maintenance of health, 33.33% of our meal should contain carbohydrates and starchy foods.
The GI Factor
Carbohydrate foods are ranked according to their ability to increase blood sugar level. To do this, the Glycaemic Index is used. Low GI foods are recommended to type 2 diabetes patients. They should also be more frequently part of the diet than High GI Foods.