The importance of healthy diets for children can never be overemphasized. In order to give good health and to prolong your child’s life span, you need to ensure that he is receiving the right kind of nutrition. You need to make sure that your children do not suffer from diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and various kinds of cancer. You also have to make sure that they remain fit and healthy so that they enjoy good health throughout their lives. The best way to achieve all these goals is to ensure that they eat healthy diets that are not only nutritious but also balanced.1
There are many benefits of healthy diets for children. Among them are clear indicators that show the child’s growth and development. Another important thing is that healthy diets reduce the chances of children getting any kind of health complications in the future. The most common ailments that affect children include obesity, asthma, eczema, autism, diabetes, allergies, and various kinds of cancer.
Studies show the importance of healthy diets for children because eating healthy food helps children grow up healthy, strong and improve their immune system. This is because the nutrients that are contained in healthy diets provide sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals.2
What Are Complex Carbohydrates?
The healthiest type of food that you can eat is protein, however, it is also one of the most misunderstood. In recent years we have been told that all healthy carbs are complex carbs… but are these really the truth? Here is the lowdown on what are complex carbs, and why you should care if you want to live a healthier life.3
Complex carbohydrates are simple sugars that have long chain sugars instead of the shorter chains found in simple carbs. These complex sugars are digested more slowly by your body’s system, providing your body with more sustained energy throughout the day. The slow speed of this digestion gives complex carbs more volume of nutrition than their simpler counterpart. This is what makes them a great choice for nutrition – they offer sustained results, giving you more energy over a longer period of time.
Studies have shown that people who alternate between complex and simple carbohydrate diets lose more weight than those who maintain their intake of simple carbs. This proves that the diet does what it is supposed to – give you the results that you are looking for, without causing you to starve yourself.
What Are the Benefits of Complex Carbohydrates?
The first benefit is that they provide an immediate source of energy. This energy can come in the form of either glucose or fructose or both. Simple carbs consist of just one sugar molecule and thus are further categorized into monosaccharides (fructose, galactose, and glucose) and polysaccharides (sugar molecules with multiple sugar units). As compared to complex carbs which contain more sugar molecules, simple carb benefits are more immediate but provide lower amounts of energy. This means that they can be used as a short-term energy source.
Another benefit is that complex carbs provide an immediate spike in your blood sugar level. This spike provides a burst of energy that allows you to work and perform tasks much better. The reason behind this is that complex carbs reduce your insulin level which helps you to burn fat more efficiently. When you eat these foods, your brain signals your body to burn fuel (food) rather than store it. This helps in fat loss and weight control because your body uses up fuel much faster.
Complex carbs have a longer-lasting impact on your body. This is due to their complex nature. In comparison to simple sugars, complex carb foods have greater lengthy-term satiety which means you feel full for a longer period of time. This means you consume less energy and hence burn up less fat. As compared to simple sugars, complex carbs have a longer-lasting effect on your body and hence they provide better benefits on weight loss and maintenance.
Additionally, complex carbohydrate foods give you more energy. This is because when you digest complex carb foods, your body breaks them down into simple sugars. This helps in burning up calories faster thereby reducing your resting metabolism. Complex carbohydrates such as glucose and fructose can reduce your resting metabolism and so provide you with less energy.
The sixth benefit is that they have a longer shelf life. When compared to simple sugars, complex carbohydrates have a longer shelf life. This means that, unlike simple sugars, they do not get absorbed quickly into the bloodstream, thus you cannot develop an unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth which results in less chewing your food. This also helps in avoiding the formation of food cravings as your body will have used up the existing supply of the calories you have consumed.
Complex carbohydrates come in various forms such as fibers, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated oils, and monounsaturated fibers. These fibers can help in easy digestion as they are easily metabolized. This is unlike refined grains and cereals, which need more time to be broken down. Refined grains and cereals contain mostly refined sugars which can be easily converted to fats which store fat in your body. Simple sugars can easily be stored as body weight.
Are Complex Carbohydrates Beneficial For Children?
The benefits of complex carbs for children seem to be an ongoing debate that has been rekindled due to the recent increase in focus on childhood obesity. Many pediatricians have been advising their patients to limit their intake of simple sugars and carbohydrates as a way to control weight gain in children, and even prevent certain types of childhood diseases such as diabetes. This current trend is not unique; other health professionals have been doing similar research in recent years.
One thing that many nutritionists agree on is the fact that simply limiting a child’s intake of simple carbohydrates is not enough to prevent obesity. Even when diet restrictions are put in place, there are often other lifestyle changes that need to be made to get children to stick to these new dietary requirements. This is why it is common practice to combine diet and exercise. One of the biggest benefits of complex carbohydrates for children is the fact that they are able to improve their digestion, which can lead to weight loss in the process. This can be especially true with foods such as whole-wheat bread, rice, and pasta, as well as fruits and vegetables, which are rich in complex carbohydrates.4
When it comes to the question “Are complex carbs good for children?” The answer is an obvious yes. Not only do complex carbs offer a wide range of benefits for kids, but they can also provide them with more energy than other sources, and reduce the likelihood of them becoming obese or developing unhealthy eating habits. Furthermore, studies show that they can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which are both causes of cardiovascular disease. In short, while avoiding simple carbohydrates may not be enough to keep your child healthy, limiting the number of simple carbohydrates they consume can be the first step in getting them on a healthier diet.5
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1 “Kids Healthy Eating Plate | The Nutrition Source – Harvard TH Chan ….” https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/kids-healthy-eating-plate/ Accessed 27 Aug. 2021.
2 “Nutrition for kids: Guidelines for a healthy diet – Mayo Clinic.” https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/nutrition-for-kids/art-20049335 Accessed 27 Aug. 2021.
3 “Complex carbohydrates: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia Image.” 20 Aug. 2020, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/imagepages/19529.htm Accessed 27 Aug. 2021.
4 “Slideshow Your Guide to Eating Healthy Carbs – WebMD.” https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-your-guide-to-eating-healthy-carbs Accessed 27 Aug. 2021.
5 “Good vs. Bad Carbohydrates: How Do You Tell the Difference?.” 3 Mar. 2021, https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/good-carbs-bad-carbs/ Accessed 27 Aug. 2021.