Carb Control: How Healthy?

By First Posted: Jul 25, 2007 Wed 10:30 AM Updated: Dec 7, 2007 Fri 12:26 AM

Carb control is what the famous Atkins Diet promoted as the panacea for weight watchers. Many people have been able to shed kilos and pounds by controlling their carb intake. Ask anyone what is the quickest way to lose weight, and the standard asnswer will be Cut down on your carbs. But how healthy is a carb-controlled diet? Critics have ripped away the Atkins Diet on many counts. So should you really go for the carb controlled Atkins Diet?

No Carbs, Excess Protein

Even though protein is essential for your body, too much will cause problems. Arre baba, humko kaunsa Arnold Schwarzenegger ke mafik bod banani hai? See, what happens is that when you consume more protein than the body can use, it starts burning the excess as fuel. This takes up too much of energy and produces an excess of Hydrochloric Acid in the body. That is the reason why you get a bout of acidity after consuming an all-protein diet. Excess protein diets harm the liver, pancreas and the kidneys. So beware before you jump on to the Atkins Diet.

Choose Your Carbs Wisely

Calories are but a superficial way of looking at your diet and nutrition. For e.g., a slice of white bread has the same calorific value as that of 8 almonds. But just compare the health benefits and nutrition you get from each. So instead of just comparing calories, compare the nutritional benefit of each item in your diet. Heres a list of the good and the bad in the vegetable carbs:

Good Carbs

Sprouts (Beans & Alfalfa), Greens (Lettuce & Spinach), Radish, Celery, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Pumpkin, Turnip, Ladys Finger, Carrot, Onion, Fennel, Eggplant, Peppers, Cucumbers, Mushrooms & Tomatoes.

Apart from the vegetable carbs, we should include a few of the complex carbs in our diet. These take a long time to digest and thereby provide energy for a longer duration. The complex carbs that are good for you are whole grains (Brown bread, atta chapattis, cereals, brown rice, oats, barley, millet and rye).

Bad Carbs

Beet, Corn, Peas, Plantains & Potatoes.

The complex carbs to be avoided are the low fibre and processed or refined foods like white bread, white pasta, white sugar, white rice and baked goods like biscuits and cakes.

So the final verdict is that instead of controlling your carb intake, you should try to take in carbs carefully. Make wise choices and dont forget to exercise regularly. Even a 30-minute walk a day can be very useful in the long run.

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