Following on from yesterdays overview of developing a healthier lifestyle, in this article we will concentrate on Carbohydrates, sources of carbohydrates and how we can consume them with healthy eating
Carbohydrates are all about energy – your body uses these foods to make glucose, which is your body’s main energy source. Glucose is a type of sugar that can be used right away for energy or stored away to be used later.
Know the difference between Good Carbs and Bad Carbs
Carbohydrates are found in lots of foods, but we need to distinguish between “good” carbohydrates and “bad” carbohydrates. Good carbs are generally found in foods that contain a lot of fibre, Bad carbs are found in foods like white bread, cakes and buns. The bad carbs will have been processed to take out the grain and have sugar added to them. The good carbs take longer to break down into glucose and also give you the most nutrients along with your calories.
Food sources that contain Good Carbohydrates are :
- Whole-Wheat Pasta
- Wheat Berries
- Whole Grains
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Pulses (lentils, beans, etc)
You will recognise most of these and find them in pretty much every mainstream supermarket you come across. It is a god idea to use all or most of them at some stage in your weekly diet. Don’t just stick to say whole wheat pasta or porridge as your good carbs – using different food sources for these carbs means you will get a wide range of recipes and never get bored of them. Having a piece of fresh fruit as part of your daily diet is a great idea – we supply fresh fruit to students and any family that comes to watch free of charge – we really do think it is that important.
We have heard lots of people swear by low carbohydrate diets – eat less bread and pasta – and eat fresh veg and fruit. This indeed does lose you weight as your body breaks down the stored carbs and quickly loses water. Unfortunately as soon as you come off the diet, and start eating the bread and pasta again, your body starts storing the carbs and the weight comes back on. It is far better to eat a balanced range of the carbohydrate food types and let your body naturally deal with them.