Carbohydrates are compounds containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are burned during metabolism to produce energy, liberating carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). There are three types of carbohydrates which are sugars, starches and fibers .
Fruits and vegetables with the skin on, contain high amounts of fiber which help to maintain a healthy digestive system. since many children don’t eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, they have relatively high fat and low fiber. This unhealthy diet can cause the problem of constipation.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in their Guide to Your Child’s Nutrition, “a person’s daily intake of fiber should equal his or her age plus 5 grams i.e if your child is 8 yr old then 8 + 5 = 13 grams a day, up to a maximum of 35 grams a day.”
In general, good sources of fiber include many fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans, and cereals. Here is the list of high fiber foods : Barley, Navy Beans (White Rajma), Kidney beans (Rajma), Peas (matar), White & Green chickpeas, Lentils, Wheat Flour, Dates, Raspberries, Asian Pears, Couscous dry, Prunes, Spinach, Artichokes, Brussels sprouts, Broccoli, Pears, Raisins, Mixed Vegetables, Strawberries, Carrots, Potatoes & Apples (with the skin on is good), Corn, Rice, Oatmeal, Tomato Soup, Pistachio Nuts, Peanuts, Celery, grapes, melons, granola bars, lettuce, Oranges.
Starch is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is contained in large amounts in staple foods such as potatoes, wheat, maize, rice , cassava, Taro & fruits like banana. Our body convert these foods into glucose which circulates throughout your bloodstream, and gets consumed by cells with help of insulin and used as a source of energy or store the energy for later use.
There is another type of starch which is Resistant Starch. According to Dr. Mark Hyman (M.D), a special type of starch called resistant starch provides unique and remarkable properties, improving your metabolism and blood sugar while optimizing your gut flora to promote weight loss.
Resistant starch is a kind of starch that is not digested in the small intestine, hence its name. Instead, your gut bacteria processes it, creating beneficial molecules that promote balanced blood sugar and healthy gut flora. In other words, when you eat resistant starch, it “resists” digestion and does not spike blood sugar or insulin. Resistant starch is made by cooking and then cooling starches like potatoes or rice and not reheating them, transforming regular starch into resistant starch.
Sugar is another food that gives us energy. Fruits, vegetables & Dairy products are the natural source of sugars which is good for health, for examples Apple, Apricot, Banana, Grapes, Pineapple, Pear, Carrot, Sweet Corn, Sweet Potato, Sugar Cane & Onion. But the sugar we get from processed food is nutrient less which is not good for health like ice cream, candy etc. When we eat food, the sugars are broken down into glucose and fructose, which are absorbed into the bloodstream. However fructose must then be converted into glucose in the liver.
But remember, if consumption of sugar is more than the burning rate through physical any activity, then our liver converts the excess glucose into fat. Some of this fat stays in the liver but the rest is stored in fatty tissues around the body. Excess sugar in your bloodstream means more insulin is needed. That’s why excess sugar can lead to Diabetes, Heart disease, Fatty liver disease, Tooth decay, weight gain & obesity when combined with a inactive lifestyle.
The table gives you the idea about the food having high value of carbohydrates, Fibers & Proteins.
Carbohydrate deficiency can lead to fatigue and weakness, Drastic and unhealthy weight loss, weak immune system, loss of muscle. In some cases, a prolonged and extreme deficiency of carbohydrates could even result in death, due to starvation.
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