The carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the food. Our daily requirement of energy should primarily come from the carbohydrates. 70% of the day’s calorie requirement should be obtained from the carbohydrates. One should also be careful with the choice of carbohydrates they make in their food. To make the right choice it is important to know the details and types of carbohydrates.

There are two types of carbohydrates:-

1. Simple Carbohydrates/ Sugars:

These are structurally very simple and easy to break carbohydrates and hence when eaten they get easily digested by our body. Hence they get quick entry into our bloodstream and are responsible for a quick and sudden rise in blood glucose levels. There break down begins in the mouth itself and hence are very sweet to taste. They are also referred to as “BAD CARBS”. Some examples are cakes, drinks, ice creams, pastries, sweets, etc.

2. Complex Carbohydrates/ Starches:

They are structurally very complex and hence take a longer time to get broken and digested in our digestive system. So they release the glucose very slowly into the bloodstream thereby giving a controlled rise in the blood sugar level. These are referred to as GOOD CARBS. Some examples are whole cereals, whole pulses, vegetables, fruits with the peel, etc. The GOOD CARBS are also rich in minerals and vitamins that are required for the efficient functioning of the body. Thus the complex carbohydrates are the right choice for people who want to lose weight and also for diabetics to keep a controlled blood glucose level. To include complex carbohydrates in the meal minor changes like consuming whole cereals and whole wheat flour, Whole pulses, and lots of vegetables instead of refined flours like maida, refined rava, white bread, is important.

One gram of carbohydrate when digested absorbed and utilized in the body yields 4 calories. Hence carbohydrates in the food form the main source of energy required for the various functions of the body.70% of the total daily energy requirement should come from the carbohydrates. Though the carbohydrates do not cause any blockages in the arteries they play a major role in weight management. An excess intake would increase the daily calorie intake and in turn an increase in body weight. Hence a controlled intake of carbohydrates is important for people who want to lose weight and a liberal intake of carbohydrates is advised for people who want to gain weight.