There is a lot of controversy about whether we should or shouldn't eat carbs. Why are people becoming so afraid of them, and why are they becoming the next "fat free" fad! Carbs are seen as the dieters devil , they are perceived to make us "gain weight", and that by eating carbs you won't reach your weight loss goal.
The latest trend that all carbohydrates should be cut from someone’s diet is quite simply wrong. However, there is a case for reducing refined carbs – the type that contain little nutrition for the body, as they’re purely a fast release of glucose and energy. These are typically white bread, pasta, white rice and processed food such as biscuits and chips.
Try choosing complex carbohydrates as they release energy slowly and are a valuable source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Complex carbohydrates are foods such as wholegrain pasta, brown rice, starchy vegetables, quinoa and buckwheat.
Here are my 5 reasons as to why you should be eating carbohydrates:
1. Carbohydrates are an important source of fuel for your brain and body. I am talking about complex carbs however such as oats, wholegrain pasta, brown rice, starchy vegetables such as sweet potato, quinoa, bulgar wheat and wholegrain bread.
2. Carbohydrates make you happy!! Our brains use the glucose from carbohydrates as fuel. If you’ve ever been on a strict diet regime, you’ll know that it can be hard to concentrate and you often experience severe drops in mood. That’s because carbs play an important role in transporting tryptophan (key to creating serotonin, you're happy hormone) to the brain.
3. Carbohydrates will help you to loose weight. Good carbs keep you fuller for longer during the day, which means you are less likely to snack throughout the day. While it’s true high-protein diets can suppress your hunger, there are now concerns that in the long term this could lead to kidney problems and a deficiency in some key nutrients.
4. Cutting out carbohydrates is unsustainable. Some people experience weight loss results from a restrictive no-carbohydrate diet, but most can’t maintain it. Fad diets don’t work long term! A balanced diet with variety and does not cut out food groups is what we should all be aiming for. If you want to lose weight, you need to look at your portion control and how much food you are consuming. You then need to think about starting to exercise or exercising more regular so that you’re burning off more calories that you consume.
5. Carbohydrates are actually the bodies preferred source of energy. The glucose from carbs is converted into the energy that again your brain and muscles need to function. Fats and protein are also necessary for energy, but they're more of a long-term fuel source, while carbohydrates fulfil the body's most immediate energy needs.
Heres a list of complex carbs (the good ones) : oats wholegrain pasta brown rice bulgar wheat quinoa green peas kidney beans sweet potato pumpkin yams wholegrain bread corn parsnips pasta made from beans or other vegetables chickpeas edamame beans