Table of contents:
- Why are many people "afraid" of carbs?
- What actually is "sugar" and why do we need it?
- Why Are Some Carbs Bad For The Body? What are you doing with us?
- "Good" Carbohydrates - What Makes Them Good?
- What to do if you are gluten intolerant?
Pasta, rice & Co. - what are good and bad carbs? An expert explains what to look for in a healthy diet and exercise, and what the best time of day for carbs.
There are all sorts of prejudices about carbohydrates that have established themselves in our heads over the years: They are bad for the body, make you fat and in general they are supposed to damage the intestines. In the fitness scene, too, the low- and no-carb diets are still popular forms of nutrition. But as with everything, the question arises: To what extent can this be generalized? There is different carbs that have different modes of action to have. Nutrition expert and mindfulness coach Ulrike Zika from health & well clarifies.
Why are many people "afraid" of carbs?
"Carbohydrates are considered fattening. In a world where slimness is still the top priority when it comes to beauty, this can quickly become threatening," explains Zika. "In addition, a lot of carbohydrates are actually consumed neither the figure nor our health are beneficial. These include, above all, products made from wheat (ground white flour) and sugar."
The quantities are a big problem: "Often there is a lot too many (bad) carbohydrates consumed. This can be a problem, especially when there is a lack of exercise. In addition to the risk of obesity, a permanently increased carbohydrate intake put heavy strain on the pancreas and cause diabetes. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends getting 50 percent of the main nutrients from carbohydrates. But you have to keep in mind that the number of carbs that every person needs depends on a wide variety of factors such as gender, age, physique, activity level, and so on."
What actually is "sugar" and why do we need it?
Sugar in the form of carbohydrates has a number of important functions in our metabolism. However, different types of sugar have different effects. The WHO repeatedly issues a number of recommendations because one problematic handling with sugar has long since become a global challenge.
- Simple sugar (Monosaccharides) consist of a single sugar molecule. These include glucose (grape sugar) and fructose (fruit sugar).
- Double sugar (Disaccharides) are made up of two simple sugar components. These include table sugar (sucrose) and milk sugar (lactose).
- Long-chain polysaccharides (Polysaccharides or “complex” carbohydrates) consist of many monosaccharides. They can be found in plant-based foods such as whole grains or legumes.
Why Are Some Carbs Bad For The Body? What are you doing with us?
Today's main source of carbohydrates is wheat. This is ubiquitous and often in far too large amounts on the menu. "It's cheap to produce - it was made in the second half of the 20th century genetically modified so that it no longer has anything to do with the original wheat. Since then it has been as productive as it is harmful to health, "says nutrition coach Markus Berndt from Diabetes Ade.
"Due to the changed composition of gluten, wheat is suspected of damaging the intestines and promoting intolerance," says Ulrike Zika. Under "bad" carbohydrates we understand e.g. white bread, cakes, refined sugar or white flour dishes such as pizza and pasta. These foods raise our insulin levels very quickly and do not fill us up in the long term. They are considered "empty calories" that make you fat, but provide us with little usable nutrients. (Read also: Are Lentil Noodles Healthier Than Traditional Noodles?)
"Good" Carbohydrates - What Makes Them Good?
"We find good carbs in whole grain (e.g. oats, spelled, rye, einkorn, barley, emmer, rice), in Legumes (e.g. lentils, green beans, beans, chickpeas) and im vegetables (e.g. sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, pumpkin, peas). They are high in fiber, which swell up in the intestines and help remove toxins from the body. So they care for one healthy digestion. They also provide high-quality energy that will keep you full for a long time, "says the expert." By the way, this is better for the pancreas: the insulin level only rises slowly."
What to do if you are gluten intolerant?
"Overall, the tolerance of food is a very individual matter," says Zika. "More and more people do not tolerate foods containing gluten so good, this includes wheat products in particular. But other types of grain such as rye, spelled or oats are not allowed to be eaten either. " Gluten free carbohydrates like rice, millet, quinoa, amaranth or buckwheat can great alternatives Offer. "Often people just don't tolerate industrially high-bred wheat, but have fewer problems with old varieties such as spelled, emmer or einkorn."