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21 Carbohydrate-rich Foods

Carbohydrate-rich foods such as bread, oatmeal, cereals and rice, for example, are the body’s main source of energy because glucose, the preferred fuel for the body’s cells, is generated during their digestion. 

When these foods are consumed in large quantities, the body uses part of them to produce energy and, what it does not use, it stores it as fat in the adipose tissue, favoring weight gain. Therefore, their intake should be controlled, consuming between 200 and 300 grams per day in a normocaloric diet, an amount that can vary according to weight, age, gender and physical activity.

However, people who want to lose weight should control the type of carbohydrate to eat, as well as the portions, preferring foods that contain less carbohydrates and more fiber in its composition. Learn how to make a low-carbohydrate diet.

List of carbohydrate-rich foods

The table below lists the foods that provide the most carbohydrates and their fiber content:

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The foods listed in this table are just some of the foods rich in carbohydrates, but there are also others that contain carbohydrates but in smaller amounts such as milk, yogurt and cheese, as well as vegetables such as pumpkin, beets and carrots or fruits such as apples and pears. See more about foods with fiber.

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates also called carbohydrates, glucides or saccharides are molecules made up of organic compounds such as carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Their main function is to provide energy quickly to the body because they are easily digested, but when that energy is not spent it is stored in the body as fat in adipose tissue cells. See more about carbohydrates and their functions in the body.

All vegetables have carbohydrates and the only food of animal origin that contains carbohydrates is honey. Its consumption should not exceed 60% of the calorie requirement per day and there are different classifications simple and complex carbohydrates, whose difference is at the level of molecules, being the complex and rich in fiber the most suitable to be consumed in a weight loss diet.

Foods rich in complex carbohydrates

Foods with complex carbohydrates are slower to be digested by the body, being released sugar more slowly into the blood and helping to produce satiety for a longer period, especially if the food contains a high amount of fiber. For this reason, they are usually classified among foods with low or moderate glycemic index. Learn more about the glycemic index of foods.

Foods rich in complex carbohydrates are less sweet foods and some of them are: rice or whole wheat pasta, as well as whole grains, lentils, chickpeas, beans, carrots, whole wheat bread, among others.

These are ideal foods for diabetics and also to consume during a diet regime, besides that they usually have a high content of B complex vitamins, iron, fiber and minerals.

Foods rich in simple carbohydrates

Foods rich in simple carbohydrates are those that the body absorbs quickly at the intestinal level to be used as energy, making you feel hungry faster, unlike complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber, some examples are refined sugar, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, honey, fructose found in fruits and lactose which is the sugar present in milk.

In addition to this, there are some processed foods that contain excess sugar such as candy, soft drinks, jams, pasteurized juices, pastry candy, gummies and other sweets.  

These types of carbohydrates raise blood sugar very quickly so they are considered high glycemic index foods, which is why they should be avoided by diabetics and those trying to lose weight. 

What are good carbohydrates

Although all carbohydrate sources are good, choosing the ones that are healthiest is not an easy task. The best option for those who want to lose weight or improve their results at the gym is to consume whole-grain products, in addition to fruits and vegetables. vegetables. However, it is important to always check the nutrition labeling on foods to make the best choice, as many contain added sugars or high amounts of fat. See how to read the nutrition label. 

Here are some good sources of carbohydrates for their high fiber content:

  • Fiber-rich fruits: plum, papaya, pear, strawberries, kiwi, tangerine, lemon, blueberries, pitahaya and peach;
  • Whole-grain foods: Rice, rice combined with grains, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, whole wheat corn tortilla or bread with seeds;
  • Vegetables: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower;
  • Grains: beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas or peas;
  • Cereals: oatmeal;
  • Tubers: sweet potato and yam.
  • Foods rich in sugar such as cakes, cookies, cereal bars and sweets in general, should not be consumed if you want to lose weight or gain muscle mass. 

    How to use carbohydrates to increase muscle mass

    To gain muscle mass you should consume several servings of complex carbohydrates throughout the day and in the snack before training, because they provide the energy that the body needs to perform physical activity, after training (up to 1 hour after) it is recommended to consume some food rich in protein such as yogurt for example, to facilitate the increase in muscle mass.

    However, for best results the ideal is to consult a nutritionist who will develop a nutritional plan tailored to the individual needs of each person. See foods to increase muscle mass. 

    Watch this video to learn how to use carbohydrates to improve results in the gym::

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