Carbohydrates are essential fuel for most of our bodily functions, they are rich in fiber and has many important uses in our bodies. Carbohydrate (Carbs) also, provide a good amount of vitamins and minerals with little or no fat. Grains and grain products supply many people daily intake of Carbs. As a result, any food that in abundantly use by people should be scrutinized and replace if it does not meet the standard for providing nourishment to the body. Knowing the meaning of these key words refined, enriched, fortified, and whole grain is going to help us to choose the healthiest Carb products. But first we have to learn about the wheat, the wheat plant consists of wheat kernels which is processed to make flour then the flour is used to make bread and other baked goods.
The kernels (whole grain) is made up of four main part: the husk (chaff) is the most outer part, its inedible but can be used in animal food. The chaff encloses three layers; the Bran, the Endosperm and the Germ. The Bran acts as a protective shell, the Bran however is rich in nutrients and fiber. Then comes the Endosperm layer, it’s a white soft layer rich in Starch and Proteins. The most inner layer is the Germ, which has a concentrated amount of vitamins and minerals to support the growth of the wheat plant.
These days’ machines are being used to mill wheat making it possible to remove the dark, heavy Germ and Bran as well. leaving behind a white, smooth and textured carbohydrate high in starch and low in fiber causing people to suffer from a tragic loss of nutrients. Today, wheat-based products are enriched with iron and fortified with vitamins to make up for the deficiency problem. Nonetheless the enriched wheat does not solve the problem at hand which is “the body is lacking nutrients even after the consumption of fortified foods”. Only the whole grain wheat can solve this problem because it contains all the essential nutrients needed by the body. So, before you buy a bread or whole grain product read the ingredients section and look for whole grain flour not for whole wheat.
Here is a “A trick you can use” to know what exactly your food is mostly made up of and to estimate how healthy it is for you. The trick is to read the ingredients list on each packaged food item or stay clear of packaged foods, however if you must use packaged items follow this guide. The ingredients are listed in the order of quantity used to make the product, meaning if Salt or Sugar is the first ingredient on the list, then the food contains mostly salt or sugar, generally one loaf of bread contains one teaspoon of salt.
Therefore, when bulky nutrient ingredients such as whole grain is listed after the salt, you will know that this product should not be your first pick, because less than the usual or less of what should be in the product has been added and more of other things like salt and sugar was added to the loaf. Therefore, eating a certain food like that will do you more harm than benefit over the long term and possibly short term. So my big suggestion to you for packaged foods is; ensure it says whole grain and make sure the actual carbohydrate that should be the products main ingredient appears 1st on the list of ingredients otherwise I personally wouldn’t be eating it.
Carbohydrate is good for you and it should be in everyone’s diet, the amount is strictly dependent on each person’s goals, activity level etc. In another article we will talk about starchy carbs and non-starchy carbs. Carbohydrates are like gasoline, it fuels our vehicles, our vehicle has a limit on how much gasoline it can take before being overloaded, our body also has the same built in mechanism, it is up to us to listen to our bodies or measure the amount in order to keep our consumption regulated. If we eat too much that’s when we store it, if we eat the right amount that’s when we use it effectively and feel the best.
Our job is to filter the different carbohydrates out there in the world and choose the best ones for us, stick to whole foods and less processed carbohydrates, this will eliminate 80% of your problems, the other 20% will be dealt with when you have implemented a strategy to control how much and how often you eat carbohydrates.