Balanced Diet and Yoga
CARBOHYDRATES: The Bulk Energy Provider
Carbohydrates are available commonly in the form of starch, glucose, cane sugar, milk, etc. Grains, roots, and tubers are composed of starch which is a complex carbohydrate. Wheat and corn form the chief sources of this food group.
This roughage in the diet is necessary for the mechanism of digestion & elimination of wastes.
The dietary fiber has a property of holding water & swells & behaves like a sponge as it passes through the digestive tract. It adds bulk to the diet & reduces the transit time in the gut.
Lack of carbohydrates causes constipation & colon cancer. The contractions of the muscular walls of the digestive tract is stimulated by fiber & so it counteracts the tendency of constipation.
Some dietary fibers like gums & mucilages lower blood cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic subjects & blood glucose in diabetics.
Recent studies indicate that gums present in fenugreek seeds (it contains 40% gum) are effective in reducing blood glucose & cholesterol.
Carbohydrates are a good & simple source of energy.
The daily diet of an adult should contain at least 40g of dietary fiber
Mathematically 1g of carbohydrate =» 4.2kcal =» 16.8KJ
Examples are - starch and glucose. Starches when eaten in a cooked form are completely digested in the gastro-intestinal tract & the released glucose is absorbed & metabolised in the body to release energy
These include gums, pectins, lignins, hemicellulose etc. & constitute the ‘dietary fiber’. These are not digested in the digestive tract & most of them are voided as such and contribute as bulk in stools.