Is it true that you need to eliminate carbohydrates, if you want to lose weight? Here are the myths to debunk about carbohydrates, to follow a healthy and balanced diet.
Although today we are all more informed about nutrition, a topic often researched by scientists with many dedicated studies, there are many false myths that still resist, for example the myth about carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are still and always considered the public enemy number one of the diet: many people believe that to lose weight it is necessary to eliminate pasta, bread, rice, pizza, cereals, altogether. Carbohydrates are actually fundamental for an healthy and balanced diet, we only need to take them in the right quantities and combinations. Let’s find out then what are the main myths to debunk about carbohydrates to bring benefits to your shape and safeguard your health.
False: this is perhaps the thing we hear most often, but it is absolutely false. Carbohydrates are important nutrients for our body because they provide energy to the brain and to the whole body. The important thing is to eat bread, pasta and starchy foods with moderation: no more than 80 grams of pasta or rice a day and maximum 50 grams of bread, quantities that must be regulated with the nutritionist to find out your individual basic needs. Eating carbohydrates regularly and moderately provides a good supply of glucose, without raising blood sugar level and without increasing localized fat adiposities.
True and False: this statement is not entirely false, everything depends on the type of cereals we consume. To be right, you just have to choose the right cereals such as oat flakes, puffed rice, wheat, spelt, but also corn flakes, and consume them with fresh or dried fruit, seeds and milk. The important thing is that these cereals do not have added fats and sugars: this is why it is important to always check the nutritional table before buying them. In the morning, also wholemeal bread with a bit of jam is excellent for breakfast.
False: many people believe that eating a dish of white rice makes you lose weight: it is not true at all. Boiled rice causes an immediate increase in blood sugar level. To influence the glycemic index is precisely the type of cooking of this food, and the peak occurs with the rice cooked in a lot of water and then drained. In order to keep the glycemic index low, it is important to add vegetables to the rice: this slows down the absorption of sugars. So it is better a rice salad or a risotto, and it is also advisable to consume varieties of rice that contain more fibers such as black rice, whose most famous variety is the venere rice, but also the brown rice.
True and False: being on a diet does not mean giving up the pizza, the important thing is to choose it with the right seasoning, avoiding mozzarella cheese and other kind of cheeses and preferring grilled vegetables, to avoid absorbing too many calories, and consume it without exaggeration: no more than once a week. If you really can not give up the mozzarella cheese on pizza, do not eat it on other days of the week. Preferably choose a pizza prepared with sourdough instead of brewer's yeast, or wholewheat flour. The oil must be extra-virgin olive oil. If you eat a pizza made with refined flour, then eat a portion of vegetables first: in this way you will introduce fibers into the body that will slow down the absorption of glucose.
False: potatoes are often used as a side dish for meat or seafood dishes, but actually they are not vegetables, potatoes are tubers that mainly produce carbohydrates: they can therefore be considered an alternative to cereals but not to vegetables. You can then bring potatoes at the table instead of pasta and bread: if you eat chicken with potatoes, avoid eating also bread. If instead for lunch you want to prepare pasta with potatoes, adjust with the quantities by balancing them so as not to take too many carbohydrates.
True and False: many diets do not recommend eating pasta, or in any case taking carbohydrates, from 6.00 pm onwards, even if there is no scientific evidence on the matter: nobody knows if the calories you take after that time are digested with more difficulty. Then carbohydrates would encourage sleep, so eating them in the evening could help you sleep better. Anyway the rule is, as always, not to exceed and make sure to introduce to each meal balanced amounts of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
False: is it better overcooked pasta or pasta “al dente”? Pasta “al dente” would be more dietary than overcooked pasta: in fact the prolonged cooking of pasta and rice makes the starches similar to a gel that is quickly absorbed, and this causes a high glycemic index. Just try to use less water, which is especially possible when cooking rice, spelt and barley. Furthermore, risotto is ideal to lower the glycemic index: in fact in this case you add only the water needed for cooking and there is no need to drain rice; but also pasta and cereals cold salads are good, as there is less starch. Also do not forget that, to slow down the absorption of sugars, it is important to start the meal with a dish of vegetables that provide you the right amount of fibers.
True and False: why when we are on a diet we are suggested to eat wholewheat pasta? The reason is that it contains many fibers, which guarantee a lower content of glycemic index and increase the sense of satiety, as well as ensuring intestinal functions. The most common mistake, however, is to think that we can eat more pasta: so we must always limit the quantities, even if we choose to eat wholewheat pasta. You can also vary kind of pasta and try to alternate with rye, spelt or kamut pasta, which contain more proteins, protect the gastrointestinal tract and give a greater satiety.
False: many people also believe that carbohydrates are only contained in pasta, bread and flour. Actually, there are other foods that need our attention, and whose intake must be limited. In particular we are talking about sweetened drinks and all those foods with the words "light" or "diet" on the package: these are foods that contain a lot of carbohydrates. It is also important to limit the consumption of foods containing fructose and granulated sugar, as well as fried chips in bags, packaged snacks and industrial foods in general.