Poor carbohydrates! Personal trainer, Agi lifts a few myths about carbs.

Posted in nutrition

I don't know about you, but I love bread! I also love wholemeal pasta, brown rice, oats, spelt flakes, rice puffs, buckwheat, soda bread, sweet and alas new potatoes too. I also love all vegetables (I really can't think of one that I don't) and most fruit (kiwi - I have to be in the mood for). I can feel anyone who is on a low-carb or no-carb diet shouting "you can't eat carbs, you will gain weight!" Luckily, I am aware and know that eating whole grain and nutritious carbohydrates will not make me fat.

The craze with low carbohydrate diets such as Dukan and Atkins has left us with a negative image and association with carbs. Of course refined or simple carbohydrates  that break down quickly in your blood stream and cause a spike in sugar should be avoided. These simple sugars found in cakes, cookies, white pasta, white bread, biscuits, milk and white chocolate (not sure why white chocolate is called chocolate when there is no cocoa in it but is only sugar and milk) are the unhealthy kind. These really are not food. They contain no value added nutrients, only empty calories. 

Importantly, it is the overall calorie consumption that matters and not the main source of macronutrient (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) in your daily food intake that matters most. It is not good to cut out any one of the three macronutrients because it is simply not sustainable and eventually your body will require it. 

As a personal trainer, here are my top four reasons why NOT to avoid the good carbs:

*They are one of the three essential macronutrients that nourish your body

*They are the preferred source of energy for your brain function

*You will crave and eat more if you deprive yourself of them

*It is the amount of calories that matter in terms of maintaining a healthy weight. Overeating any of the macronutrients will lead to body fat gain.

A top tip to observe when eating carbohydrates is to look out for the 'of which sugars' reading on a label. Here is an example based on a 100g of oats! 

Kcals per 100g = 361 kcals

Carbohydrates per = 61.9g

of which sugars= 0.9g

Try to aim for less than 5g "of which sugars" per 100g when choosing your carbs!

Good luck!

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