ABC…. of Nutrition (Article 3)

From the previous article, we now know that you may eat any food, finally it will be contain any of the seven nutrients: carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, water or fibre.

These seven nutrients are classified into two groups:

Macro nutrients & Micro nutrients

Macro, means the nutrients that body needs in a large amount. These are:
Carbs
Proteins &
Fats

Micro, means the nutrients that body needs in micro or small amounts. These are:
Vitamins &
Minerals

In this article, we will be starting with Carbs (Carbohydrates), macro nutrient. Our food revolves around the carbs. Let it be rotis or breads or theplas or rice or idlis or dosas or upma or poha. All are carbs.. Let’s understand all about it..

Before starting with it

What are Carbs ??
Carbs are also called sugars or polymers of sugars, such as starch. If you see the chemistry definition of carbs, then carbohydrates are organic compounds having carbon, hydrogen, oxygen.
The smallest unit of carbohydrates is glucose.
It’s formula is C6H12O6: it means that it has 2 molecules of hydrogen for each molecule of oxygen.
So, actually it is the same as water molecule, means H2O.
Hence, they are called carbo-hydrates,
carbon and water molecule.

It seems a lot of chemistry.. But it is important to know this. Because it is very important in the management of water retention or those who have swelling in their body.

Now there are many reasons for having swellig in the body. For that, we need to consult a doctor and find out the reason(s).

But, in diet, if one consumes more carbohydrates, then definitely it will increase swelling if one already has due to any reason. Hence, low carbs and more of proteins will help you to reduce swelling in the body.

Also, observe this.. we feel less thirsty when we eat carbohydrates than when we eat pulses or fats. This also shows that carbs has more of water content in it.
The other way to look at it is that it has lots of moisture in it compared to the other macro nutrients. So after eating carbs, it will have same effect in our body. It will increase moisture and humidity in our body.
It’s not harmful unless you use it. Meaning, whenever you eat carbs, burn it through exercise and sweat. So the moisture doesn’t remain in the body. Because in ayurveda, excess moisture can lead to many diseases.

Understand properly that eating carbohydrates will not cause swelling.
Only for those who have swelling in the body due to any reason, eating more carbohydrates will increase that swelling.
So, for them, it is advisable to have less of carbs and more of proteins.

In the next article, we will study classification of carbohydrates.
Generally, everyone knows that we should eat complex carbs.
But there is much more to know…..

Note: Above explanation is an integration of modern Nutrition and Ayurveda concepts.

Happy reading !!

Dr. Mansi Pujara

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