The truth about carbohydrates
Tuesday 24 July 2012
Carbohydrates – they are one of the most hotly debated subjects in the diet and nutrition industry. Some people believe that carbs are pure evil spawned by the devil himself to make us big and bloated whereas others claim that they are essential for your health and wellbeing, if included in a balanced diet. But, as usual, where nutrition is involved nothing is quite so black and white or straight forward.
This is why Closer has once again stuck our noses into millions of diet books and researched for days to find a comprehensive answer to the eternal question:
Carbohydrates – friend or foe?
Ok, let’s start with the basics. Carbs release glucose into our bloodstream, which is converted into energy. And that’s basically where the difficulties start: if the glucose is released slowly, you’re energy levels will be stable and keep you going between meals.
Some carbs, however, release the glucose faster than others which causes the energy slumps and sugar cravings we all know so well. Basically, if you are eating the right carbohydrates you will have plenty of energy that is evenly released to see you through a day of work and exercise.
But which carbs are good for you? They are basically split into two groups: Simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs contain high doses of sugar, which is why they have such a bad reputation. Complex carbs are rich in starch, which releases more energy.
Good carbs? Bad carbs?
But before you condemn simple carbs, you have to differentiate between the natural and refined type: Natural simple carbohydrates contain sugar, but it is the unprocessed sort that you can find in fruit and vegetables. Refined carbs however are the incredibly unhealthy type that most processed convenience foods are stacked with: biscuits, sweets, fizzy drinks, pizza - these are the culprits you should stay away from.
It's the same with complex carbs: In their natural form they are a great source of energy and will benefit you especially if you have a hectic daily routine or exercise a lot. Bananas, nuts, lentils and potatoes are great sources for natural starches.
Again, it's the the refined sort that you should avoid: white flour and pasta (as opposed to wholemeal), white rice and fast foods like pizza are a no-no for the waistline-conscious dieter.
To sum up: natural carbs, simple or complex, are good as part of a balanced diet. They provide your body with the energy it needs. Refined carbs, as found in most processed foods, are bad for you - so stay clear.
Some good tips:
- Start the day with whole grains. If you're partial to hot cereals, try steel-cut oats. If you're a cold cereal person, look for one that lists whole wheat, whole oats, or other whole grain first on the ingredient list.
- Use whole grain breads for lunch or snacks. Check the label to make sure that whole wheat or another whole grain is the first ingredient listed.
- Bag the potatoes. Instead, try brown rice or even "newer" grains like bulgur, wheat berries, millet, or hulled barley with your dinner.
- Pick up some whole wheat pasta. If the whole grain products are too chewy for you, look for those that are made with half whole-wheat flour and half white flour.
- Bring on the beans. Beans are an excellent source of slowly digested carbohydrates as well as a great source of protein.
- Skip refined and processed foods altogether
- Read the label to see if there is added sugar (be wary of the "oses")
- Choose whole grains (oats, whole wheat and brown rice), beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables
- Try to have 40% of your total caloric intake come from complex carbohydrates
- Avoid the lure of low-fat foods, which contain a sizable amount of calories from sugar
- Avoid the lure of low-carb foods, which sometimes have more calories from fat
For more information on how to get the most out of your diet, head over to www.closerdiets.com where you can drop a stone in just eight weeks without the use of any fads!
Posted by Adele23
RE: The truth about carbohydrates
i am currently on the akkins diet and its the best diet i have ever been on as it actually teaches you to lower your carb intake, it is shocking how many carbs are in alot of foods, which you wouldnt expect to be in. yes you need cards for energy if you are n the go all day but if you are overweight or not got a busy day and just sitting around carbs are the devil and can make you pile on the weight! i have been struggling with my weight for 5 years and now i have found the atkins diet i can finally do somthing about it and feel like i am going to succeed and keep the weight off. if you are sturggling with your weight try the atkins diet or take a look at how many carbs you eat a day and sugars as they turn to fat if you dont use the energy.
as well i have stopped feeling hungry all the time i dont constantly think about my next meal instead i am able to enjoy myself and feel good.
i have lost a nearly a 12lb in 3 weeks i still have 4half stone to go but i know i can do it!
Posted 07/08/2012 13:08:57