Be careful about going to extremes in your diet. Carbohydrates should not be eliminated from your meals.
Medical advisor: Antonia Elena Carretero Palacio. Nutritionist, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare
Some people believe that by excluding carbohydrates from their diet, they will lose weight more easily. By doing this, however, they leave out nutrients that are essential for the body and that are responsible for providing it with enough energy to function properly.
There are two types of carbohydrates: complex (starches and fiber) and simple (sugars). They are found in most foods such as tubers, fruits, grain products, beans and legumes, whole grains and bread and pastry products.
Eating large quantities of carbohydrates without any type of control or moderation results in a greater consumption of calories and as a result, can lead to gaining a few pounds. If these are restricted, however, medical conditions can affect the body that arise as a result of a lack of energy sources and problems with insulin production can occur. This is when diseases can such as hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) or ketosis (a metabolic problem that requires the body to use fat as a source of energy) can appear.
“It is not okay to restrict carbohydrates, not even with diabetic patients. It is important to understand that people need balanced diets; the body needs carbohydrates to function properly. We depend upon them for energy,” explains nutritionist Antonia Elena Carretero Palacio.
The suggestion is to follow a meal plan that includes non-processed carbohydrates, known as complex carbohydrates. These are absorbed better in the blood and include flours, whole grains, and grain and corn products. This diet should be balanced and should combine different nutritional components in each meal.
Include them in each meal
Getting enough complex carbohydrates at breakfast, lunch and dinner is important because they have a high biological value and offer more benefits than simple carbohydrates, which consist of foods like desserts and ice cream. Keep the following recommendations in mind to get the benefits of a healthy diet:
– Include carbohydrates such as bread, arepas, or crackers during breakfast; it is best if these are whole wheat or whole grain.
– At lunch, eat complex carbohydrates such as rice, pasta and legumes.
– The amount of carbohydrates that should be eaten at dinner depends on the nutritional needs of each person.
What is the recommendation for people who have diabetes?
People that are diabetic should not eliminate carbohydrates from their diet either. While their bodies do not produce enough insulin or their metabolism does not process it correctly, these nutrients are important sources of energy. If someone who is diabetic does not eat these nutrients, they can become hypoglycemic or develop other metabolic disorders.
Nutritionist Antonia Elena Carretero Palacio recommends that to have a balanced diet, these patients should quantify their carbohydrate intake. The entire process of establishing a meal plan should be monitored by a professional and support should be offered so that it is applied correctly and lasts over time.