If you have planned to munch biscuits and skip meals, so that it enhances your weight loss process, give it a second thought. Are you sure that it really helps in losing weight? Spare yourself the myth; face the facts. Let’s have a quick overview of the common ingredients of biscuits and see what effects they have on human body. To your surprise, you will learn that munching biscuits does not help in losing weight; rather, consumption of biscuits results in calorie gain – the last thing you would want.
1. Refined flour
Known as ‘Maida’, refined flour is the main ingredient in biscuits. It is basically processed flour with negligible fiber content and minimal nutrients. Refined flour is devoid of components like bran and germ that are removed when wheat is processed. It is not as healthy as it seems; it is less satisfying than good carbohydrates like whole wheat flour. Since itcontains less fiber, the body absorbs processed grains and simple sugars relatively faster, resulting in increase of blood sugar levels. As a matter of fact, high blood sugar triggers a release of insulin, and makes you feel hungry in less than a couple of hours after eating. The fact remains, by munching biscuits you end up gaining unwanted calories.
Most biscuits are sweet and contain good amount of sugar in it.Sugars contain high calories and are less satisfying in nature, which makes you eat more, leading to weight gain. Sugar consumption also contributes to the development of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and obesity as it increases the levels of insulin in the blood. High insulin level in blood enhances the storage of fat.
Biscuits contain trans fats because it is a processed product. These artificial trans fats are formed during a food process called hydrogenation, which turns liquid oil into solid fat.
During hydrogenation, vegetable oil is heated at very high temperature while hydrogen is ‘bubbled’ through it, creating new chemical bonds which have a similar structure to plastic. The result is hydrogenated vegetable oil, or hydrogenated fat. This is used in biscuits, cakes, pastry, margarine and processed food items to ensure that they have a long shelf life and don’t melt too easily. Unfortunately, these fats are considered bad fat which increases cholesterol in the body and cause other health problems. On the other hand, researchers at Wake Forest University find that trans fats increase the amount of fat around the belly, not only by generating new fat, but also by moving fat from other areas to the belly.
4. High Fructose corn syrup
While processing biscuits, some brands use high fructose corn syrup (HFC) instead of sugar. HFC is an artificial sweetener with negligible difference if compared with table sugar.The fact is that HFC is not a healthy ingredient. It leads to weight gain and give way to other health problems like obesity anddiabetes. It is important to know that sugar in any form is harmful for health. While in times of complete glycogen depletion (i.e. post work-out or true hunger), fructose can be used to replenish these stores, any excess will mostly be converted to fat. So, eating fructose in excess of the very small amount our body can handle is really like eating fat – it just gets stored in your fat cells, which leads to mitochondrial malfunction, obesity and related diseases.So, both sugar and HFChave significant contribution to causing obesity.
Biscuit is not good in fiber, not less in calories, and therefore, not good as a healthy snack option. When giving up on biscuits is difficult, what you can do for yourself and your family is to take healthier options. The healthier biscuits are the whole grain or multi grain biscuits. These are high on fiber content and nutrition value. It is important to check the nutrition labels while purchasing any food product.
Your high tea may seem incomplete without the munching of your favorite coconut flavored biscuits. And you will find many like you who are fond of biscuits as a wonderful thing to munch when you are hungry, but the hunger is not heavy on you. You have now known that biscuits are no good for your weight loss venture, since they are high in calories and contain little nutrition. So, look beyond the alluring advertisements and make a wise pick when you choose your biscuit.
Author Information — this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo