We are becoming increasingly displeased with many food groups/macronutrients such as fats, carbs and dairy as all of us are intentionally or unintentionally gaining weight. This hatred, displeasure or unrest-you can name it whatever you want to-has paved way for different diets such as Atkin (low carb diet), ketogenic (low carb, high fat diet) and so on. Fitness freaks, figure-conscious people and even those interested in eating healthy foods run away from potatoes, bananas and even dates, all of which are excellent sources of good carbs. All this reinstates the point that it’s time to refresh our basics of a healthy diet.
If fats, carbs and full-fat dairy are declared to be untouchables, there are not many options left for consumption. Low-carb diets such as the Atkins are in demand currently for their accelerated weight loss effects and reduced risk of illnesses. But a new study shows that following a low-carb or high-carb diet increases the risk of death whereas a diet including all food groups in moderation has a positive effect on long-term health. Any diet comprising of less than 40% or more than 70% of calories from carbohydrates was associated with the highest risk of mortality and consuming anything between 40 and 70% set grounds for a healthy life.
Bias in Creating Carbs
A US study conducted for a period of more than 25 years indicated the ill-effects of too much or too little carb consumption. This study, published in The Lancet questioned around 15,400 people on their food habits, beverage consumption and portion sizes. All participants were aged between 45 and 64 and requested to fill two questionnaire six years apart. Their health was monitored for 25 years which included close observation of smoking, income and diabetes pattern. Finally, the study results were amalgamated with seven other study results carried out worldwide and including more than 430,000 people.
Nutrition and fitness have become a priority for all of us but what we lack is a clear idea about what we should eat and do. That’s mainly because, one day we are surprised with a study result indicating that a high carb diet is healthier and the next day we get another study indicating that a low carb diet is better. That’s how the latest study cropped up which includes a combination of both, high and low-carb diet. At the end of the 25-year follow-up researchers understood that:
Any low-carb diet might prove to be fruitful in the short term but have negative consequences in the long run. Rejecting potatoes, bread and pasta while pursuing a low-carb diet is extremely imbalanced and must be discouraged.
Assuming that an individual consumes around 2,000 kcal/per and when carbs account for 30% calories, it comes to only 150g a day of which sugar alone comprises of 50g and when you ignore the rest 100g of carbs too substituting it with other foods, you are ignoring the macronutrient almost completely. This is not the case with every individual but there are some people who consume a low-carb diet in the form of animal fats and meat instead of vegetables, fruits and grains.
One important fact to be observed and followed is that, it is not enough to give importance only to the nutrient but also focus whether they are derived from animal or plant sources. Any individual unsure about the right proportion of carbs to be included in the diet, the complete list of good and bad carbs and the right portion of each carbs can get complete information by getting in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.