Carbohydrates are one of the six classes of food. It is described as energy-giving, meaning it supplies the body with energy. They are a very essential part of our daily diet as it has a lot of health benefits. Carbohydrates are present in fruits, vegetables, root crops, grains, and so on.
These days, carbohydrates have gained a bad reputation, as they have been linked to weight gain and also increase the risk of diabetes. People have been told to limit their intake of carbohydrates or stick with low carbs.
But there is nothing wrong with high carb foods, as long as you eat them in moderation. Moderation is a very important part of eating healthy. No matter how good something is, you have to mind the way you eat it, as too much of a good thing can be bad.
So today, we would be looking at some examples of high carb foods in Nigeria.
It is safe to say that rice is eaten in all corners of Nigeria. In most homes, rice is regarded as special food, even though it is eaten almost every day. Rice can be made in many ways, and everyone has their favourite way of enjoying it. Rice is one of the foods that have high-carb content. Both white rice (processed) and brown rice (local) contain more than 52 grams of carbohydrates per cup. Brown rice is an example of whole grain and is considered more nutritious and healthier than white rice. It is particularly good for people who are diabetic or those who are watching their weight. Tuwo shinkafa is an example of a rice-based high carb food in Nigeria.
Yam is another food that is widely enjoyed in Nigeria. Like rice, yam can also be enjoyed in different ways. Yam is a tuber that is rich in a lot of nutrients, including carbohydrates. But what makes yam good is that it has a high fibre content as well, which makes slows the time it takes for the carbohydrates in it to digest. This means it does not cause a significant increase in blood sugar levels or even weight.
Fufu or Akpu is a staple dough-like food made with fermented cassava. It is a popular West African cuisine eaten with soups and stews. Fufu is one of the healthy high carb foods in Nigeria. 100 grams of fufu contains 2 grams of protein, 0.1 grams of fat, 267kcal of energy, and 84 grams of carbohydrate. Fufu is also very low in cholesterol, and rich in potassium.
Potatoes are also a tuber that is rich in carbs. They are also classified as a vegetable. Potatoes are also rich in potassium, vitamin A & C, and antioxidants as well, making them very healthy food.
Plantains are healthy sources of complex carbohydrates. It contains roughly 32 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving. They are also rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and are easy to digest. Unripe plantains are higher in fiber, and lower in sugar than ripe plantains.
Bananas are a popular and delicious fruit that can be eaten in several ways. The fruit is loaded with carbohydrates, in that 100 grams of banana contains 22 grams of carbs either as starches or sugars. Bananas are also excellent sources of potassium, a mineral that plays a key role in regulating blood pressure, and improving heart health.
A lot of people begin their day with a bowl of oats. They are tasty, nutritious, and very satisfying. Oats contain beta-glucan, which is a special kind of fibre that lowers blood sugar levels, reduces bad cholesterol levels, and keeps the guts healthy. The beta-glucan in oats also keeps one satisfied for a long time, reducing the rate at which you feel hungry. This can be very effective for losing weight.
Semolina is a coarse flour used in making pasta, bread, cereals, and other food products. In Nigeria, semolina flour is used to prepare the semolina fufu, which is eaten with the various Nigerian soups. 56 grams of semolina contains 40 grams of carbohydrates. It is also high in protein and fiber, which can help with weight loss. Furthermore, it contains significant amounts of B vitamins like thiamine and folate.
Groundnuts are one the most healthy and affordable high carbohydrate foods in Nigeria. In fact, 100 grams of groundnuts contain 21 grams of carbohydrates. In addition to being high in carbs, they are packed with healthy fats and high-quality protein.
Most Nigerians always look forward to corn season, so they can enjoy their favourite grain as much as they like. Corn can be either boiled, roasted, made into cornmeal, or processed into pap. Corn is rich in carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, as well as vitamins B, C, E, and K.