Myth-squash: No Carbs or Low Carb Diet?

Myth-squash: No Carbs or Low Carb Diet?

These days one needs to follow the trends to keep up with the millennials. True that!

Whenever a gang of friends meet, besides gossiping the first question is “Are you on a diet…? You have lost weight. How did this transformation happen?” Another one will say “Oh God you have become a couch potato, why don’t you follow a fasting diet… it’s trending, are you not aware?”

So are we meeting for fun or to dig up some health myths and trending fads! Everyone in this era has a lot of Google gyaan (knowledge) but also unaware about the basic physiology of body and chemistry of food.

Our body needs a well-balanced diet
to live a long, healthy and happy life.

Balanced diet – a bit faded and distant term these days, isn’t it! But that’s the need of the hour if you want to boost your immune, keep your gut healthy, prevent clot formation and wish to stay fit while staying at home.

Let me start with the most popular myth of No Carbs / Low Carb Diet!

  • Why are we so scared of carbs although it’s one of the major macronutrients found in our plate, the others being fat and protein. Did you ever think hard or are you clouded with the Google gyaan sans rationalising or thinking?
  • In this hot summer weather when you are low on energy who is your saviour? Carbohydrates!
  • When your stomach bloats due to high protein and high fat diet, what helps you to have a good bowel movement? Carbohydrates!
  • When you are working out in gym for longer hours and suddenly you get a muscle fatigue, what replenishes them faster? Carbohydrates!
  • When you are irritable, can’t focus on anything and keep forgetting things; what works like fuel for your body? Carbohydrates!
  • In short, carbs are not bad for us. It depends on whether we are eating the right carbs at the right time. Yes, efficient time management is crucial in diet management. Will touch this topic in my future write ups.

My dear friends, healthy carbs are complex carbs which take a little more time to digest and keep you full for longer because of its high fibre and high starch content. So anytime a patient comes for weight management or has high sugar level, or the cholesterol level is alarmingly high or falls in the category of Alzheimer’s, I will always recommend complex carbs.

To name a few complex carbs here is a go-to list: Oatmeal, barley, buckwheat, whole wheat bread, potatoes, sweet potatoes, apples, berries, banana, broccoli, beans, carrots, lentils, green peas and rice.

Yes, you read it right. Rice – a staple food for many and a complex starch rich carbohydrate with endless benefits. Rice is a gluten free grain with the healthiest varieties being brown rice, black rice, red rice and wild rice. Size of rice also determines its benefits – short and medium are starchier and sweeter while long grain is better for weight management. Those who wish to consume it on a regular basis should always remember, one cup of rice is the standard portion size for good health as more than that is just going to add more calories. Balance it and be wise in your intake.

Avoid eating processed and polished rice as it removes important minerals and reduces the fibre content too.

Add more veggies whenever you wish to eat rice so that your stomach is full of less portions of it, and you would get more nutrients too.

Boiling rice with water is the best way to cook. The cooking and cooling method helps to increase the resistant starch in rice which works like a probiotic for a healthy gut.

Size of rice also determines its benefits –
short and medium are starchier and
sweeter while long grain is better
for weight management.

Next question which pops in mind whether to eat white rice or brown rice. White rice is a refined grain which is easy to digest due to its low fibre content and easily accessible too. These days white rice enriched with vitamins is also present in the market which can be used for weight watchers and people with stomach ailments or allergic to high fibre diet. The biggest disadvantage of eating white rice is that it leads to variations in sugar levels which further increases fat storage. So, if you are on a fat loss journey, avoid processed rice but to satiate your taste buds, you can indulge once in a while with a rich aromatic biryani white rice too.

Intake of brown rice, which is high in fibre and quite nutritious, has its own downside too. It is high in phytic acid which reduces your body’s ability to absorb zinc and iron from diet. It is also high in arsenic which is a toxic metal leading to cancer and heart ailments. To reduce arsenic content by 20% one must wash the brown rice with plenty of water.

Having said that either of the rice can be chosen to eat in moderate amount for a good health. Again, balance is the key!

The follow-up question that could pop to your mind would be, whether rice can be consumed anytime of the day – Yes. It is easy to digest and high in fibre so one can eat rice anytime. Many people avoid rice for dinner thinking it might make them fat but if you eat rice with dal and vegetables, it’s a perfect well-balanced meal to keep you full overnight and also reduces midnight hunger pangs.

For heavy workout lovers I would suggest including rice in a 3 hour window post workout as that is prove to be the best time to replenish your glycogen stores.

In essence, none of the food is bad for us. It depends on how we choose to eat it and also on our positive mindset for our body.

Stop categorising the food and enjoy every meal for a better health. Food is medicine and one should be thankful for every meal on their plate. That’s how you live a rich life.

Balance your mind with a balanced food intake. Balance your wisdom and eat well while balancing your portions and not your variety of food! Trust me balancing your diet will be favourable for you always!

And more myth busters are on the way too! Keep checking this space for more Squashing Myths with Balanced Wisdom.


Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in The Brew View – our opinion section – are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TheBrew.ae, the company, or any of its members.

Dr. Nidhi Agarwal

Dr. Nidhi Agarwal

Dr. Nidhi Agarwal is a connoisseur of the Holistic approach to propagate medicine free lifestyle since last 12 years. She is a Homeopathic physician, lifestyle & Wellness coach, relationship counselor, a holistic healer and the director of Prakash holistic health care centre. A doctor a counselor a nutritionist a healer a philanthropist and an eco-warrior.

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  • Useful article .

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