Carbohydrates are energy giving foods. They contain sugar molecules which form starch and fibre. When starch is broken down by the body, it becomes glucose. In Nigeria, most of the foods that we eat are rich in carbohydrates.
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Also known as carbs, this class of food generally perceived to be unhealthy. This perception is inaccurate as it does not present a complete picture of the nature of carbohydrates. Truth be told, all carbs are not equal. There are good carbs and bad carbs. Good carbs are also known as unrefined carbohydrates. These carbs are consumed with all their nutrients intact. They allow blood sugar level to rise slowly; as such, their action is considered healthy.
Bad carbs, on the other hand, go by the collective name, refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates are basically carbs that have lost the nutrients they contain during processing. Even though they are more appealing than unrefined carbs, they are considered unhealthy because their consumption can cause a spike in blood sugar level which may be quickly followed by a crash.
Today, we will review 8 foods that have high carbohydrate content. Here they are:
Whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Nigerians are ever ready to eat rice. There are different varieties of rice but they basically fit into two groups which are determined by how they are processed. These two groups are white rice and brown rice. Even though brown rice is healthier than white rice, both groups of rice are primarily composed of carbohydrate; In fact, almost eighty percent of rice’s total dry weight is carbs.
This is another popular food in Nigeria. It can be eaten boiled, pounded, roasted, or fried. However, this root vegetable has very high carbohydrate content. One serving of regular yam contains nearly 42 grams of carbohydrate. One serving is defined as one cup of cubed yam.
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This is one of the most popular forms of pasta. This food is energy dense and has over two hundred calories. Spaghetti is a good source of complex carbohydrate. There are more than 40 grams of carbs in one serving.
Most of us love sweet potatoes because they are delicious. They are nutritious too. A medium sized sweet potato contains 27 grams of carbs. However, mention must be made of the fact that how you prepare it and the ingredients you use in preparation determines how healthy or unhealthy it will become. Sweet potatoes that are boiled with the skin on, to retain more fibre, are healthier than sweet potatoes that are baked or fried. Also, pairing this root vegetable with lean protein and non-starchy vegetables can further reduce its effect on blood sugar.
This food may be one of the healthiest whole grains on earth. Raw oats contains sixty six percent carbs most of which is fibre. Raw oats are especially high in a powerful soluble fibre called oat beta glutan. Oats are very filling. Studies indicate that its consumption may lower blood sugar level especially in people with type 2 diabetes.
With most people in the family rushing off to school or work in the morning, bread has become the typical breakfast in most Nigerian homes. White bread is more popular than other types. All a mum need do is make tea or cereal, fry eggs, if the spirit leads, or simply whip out butter or mayonnaise and voila, breakfast is ready. However, white bread should be eaten sparingly as a slice of it contains about 13 grams of carbohydrate.
Nigerians are garri lovers. Most families in the country consume one form of garri or the other on a regular basis. This food contains about 360 calories; 99% of these calories is carbs.
This food belongs to the legume family. Legumes usually have high protein content. But, in additiion to its protein content; cooked kidney beans contains 22.8% carbs in the form of starch and fibre. Kidney beans consumption can help with blood sugar control. It can also reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Finally, carbs are a good source of energy which the body needs to perform its functions. But this does not mean that we should eat just carbs. As we all know, too much of everything is bad. Therefore, we should take another look at our meal plan and if need be, incorporate foods that belong to other food groups.
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