Some people falsely avoid eating foods that are rich in carbohydrates, believing that carbohydrates are one of the primary components of weight gain. While it is true that too much amount of carbohydrates may cause unwanted pounds in our body, carb-rich foods should not be avoided altogether.

To enlighten us with the positive benefits of eating carb-rich foods, here are three of the many reasons why carbohydrates are needed by our body:

  1. Carbohydrates can help prevent weight gain. This may sound opposite to the belief of some people that carbs promotes weight gain, but it is actually how it is. Carbohydrates contain dietary fiber which is good for weight loss. According to a study from Brigham Young University in Utah, middle-aged women who increased their fiber intake for nearly two years generally lost weight while those who decreased their fiber intake gained weight. Therefore, not only do carbohydrates prevent weight gain, they also help in trimming your waistline.

Also, carbs are of great benefit to those who are fond of practicing fitness exercise. According to a study from the Journal of Nutrition, eating a breakfast made with “slow-release” carbohydrates three hours before exercise can help burn more fat. It is because these types of carbohydrates found in oatmeal or bran cereal do not increase blood sugar as high as refined carbohydrates found in white toast, which consequently maintain the insulin levels to a minimum.

  1. Carbohydrates can boost your mood and keep memory sharp. In a study from the Archives of Internal Medicine, people who have low carbohydrate intake are more depressed and anxious. This implies that people who take sufficient amount of carbohydrates tend to have better mood. On the other hand, in a study conducted by Tufts University, overweight women who practiced a low-carbohydrate diet in a week tend to have poor memory than those who practiced a low-calorie diet based on American Dietetic Association guidelines.
  2. Carbohydrates are heart-friendly. People who eat more whole grains tend to have lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and higher HDL (good cholesterol). Also, research suggests that carb-rich foods that contains soluble-fibre such as oats and beans can reduce bad cholesterol level by up to 5 percent.

Some foods that are rich sources of carbohydrates include: potatoes, cassavas, legumes, green vegetables, pasta, cereals, bread, apple, watermelon, beans, bananas, berries, dry fruits, citrus fruits, and whole grains. These foods are also rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals that are indispensable for your health. A 5-10 gram intake of carb-rich foods every day would be enough to keep your heart away from bad cholesterol.
As long as we have a wise choice of food intake, carb-rich foods can be a great help for our health.

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