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Carbohydrates - evil or necessary?

Carbohydrates - evil or necessary?

If you have a quick scan of the lose weight section in a bookstore you will quickly find that carbohydrates are often blamed for a lot of problems to do with weight, but what's the truth? Are they really as bad as they say? Or, in moderation, can they be healthy? After all, we're all always talking about maintaining a balanced diet.

If you'd like to know the facts, read on...

The government says that carbohydrates should make up about two thirds of our diet, and they are actually a vital part of our diet. But that doesn't mean you should be eating two thirds of a loaf of bread,we also get a lot of our carbs from foods you wouldn't think. Foods such as wholegrain bread, fruit and vegetables all contain high amounts of carbs and are necessary for a healthy and balanced diet.

There are four types of carbohydrates, these are: sugars from fruit (fructose), normal sugar (sucrose), starches (these are complex carbs which are found in potatoes and grains), and dietary fibre (health carbs which are found in foods such as cereals, root veg, nuts and seeds).

Can you guess which ones you should be stocking up on and which you be trying to avoid?

Carbs give us energy, plain and simple, without them we'd be desperately searching for more coffee, or worse, a lot more sugary foods throughout the day. So don't feel bad about eating a whole bowl of whole wheat pasta as this is good carb. By eating healthy carbs you are helping your body out, giving it enough energy to get through your day, along with giving yourself a healthy dose of fibre which will keep your digestive system on track and running smoothly.

The great thing about eating more whole grains and nuts is that it gives your body slow release energy, meaning that you won't have sudden burst of energy like you would with caffeine or sweets, and alongside this you will avoid the big crash later on. These good carbohydrates release the energy slowly and over a longer period of time, keeping you going for longer.

Eating fruit is beneficial to you, and make sure that you are eating the whole fruit in order to get all the goodness from it. Then you'll be sure to get all the soluble fibre that you wouldn't get from a juice, say. Fibre is important for your digestion and means you'll soak up all the minerals and vitamins present in the fruit, rather than just the juice and water.

Not only this, the sugars found in fruits don't just give you the energy that you need bt the various types of fruits give you a wide array of other vitamins and minerals that your body needs.

As long as you stick to the healthy carbohydrates you will be fine indulging yourself and avoid having to be too strict on yourself. Where people go wrong is they focus on the sucrose and starches that if eaten in excess, lead to weight gain and an unhealthy body.

Image: / Brooke Lark, / RitaE

04 / 01 / 2018 1R