Carbohydrates are one of the three types of nutrients your body uses as energy (the other two are protein and fat). Sugars are the simplest carbohydrates; fiber and starches are more complex. The digestive tract breaks down most sugars and starches into glucose, a simple sugar that the body uses to feed cells.
South Asian diets, particularly vegetarian diets, rely heavily on refined carbohydrates such as white rice and breads, which tend to spike blood sugar and contribute to harmful inflammation in the body. In contrast, healthy carbohydrates—unrefined and less refined—can help reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood coagulation.
So one way to improve your diet is to eat moderate amounts of unrefined carbohydrates (whole fruit, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, cooked beans) and balance them with protein and fat.