Nowadays due to advance technology all the food found in the market are refined foods. Refined foods are simply called simple carb foods on which the nutrition and fiber of foods are almost removed. Refined or processed food contains high amount of sugar and fat without vitamins, minerals and fibers which are considered as empty calories. Consumption of refined and processed foods for longer time cause different metabolic diseases like obesity, diabetes and its related disorders. All the researcher are now active towards how to limit the consumption of refined food by organizing the awareness program among schools and colleges. However, still the refined food are main source of daily carb in the developing countries like Nepal. Normally refined foods are categorized into two main types, they are
Sugars: such as sucrose (table sugar) and high fructose contain corn syrup.
Refined grains: the grains which have the nutritious and fibers parts removed. The biggest source of refined food in Asian countries are refined or polished rice (white rice) and refined wheat flour (maida).
South Asian people mostly depend on the refined grains as their main food for survival. That type of food contain simple carbohydrates with low in fibers and micronutrients which can digested easily and also have high glycemic index. Consumption of high glycemic index foods can triggered the blood sugar and insulin levels. This foods are linked to increase hunger which results in overeating and increase the risk of many health problems in later days.
Here I am going to discuss on the foods (grains) which are consumed more in south Asian countries like rice and wheat flour. These grains mainly consists of 3 parts like bran, germ and endosperm. Bran is the outer hard part which contain the fibers and minerals and have antioxidant property. Germ is the nutrient-rich core which contains protein, vitamins and minerals with healthy fat. Endosperm the middle part which mostly contains the carb and low amount of protein. During the refining process of these grains, bran and germ; the most nutrient value part are removed and only the left thing is rapidly digestible starch with low amount of protein, which cause the overeating. Eating too much refined carbohydrate linked the people towards overweight causing obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke and so on. However, all grains with high carb are not bad. Some of the grains with high carbohydrates are healthy too like whole grains such as oat, rye, barley, millet, buckwheat. The wheat and rice can be considered as healthy if we remove the husk or bran only during the refining process. So to become healthy try to consume carbohydrates from wholesome and unprocessed foods instead of refined and processed foods.
Eat healthy stay healthy, say no to refined foods.
Sudhashree Adhikari, PhD
Sattwik Nutrifood by Sattwik Group, Pokhara, Nepal