An important part of enjoying a healthy diet is eating a balanced diet of nutrients, including carbohydrates. Even though they are criticised especially when it comes to weight gain.
Carbohydrates provide us with energy, as well as the essential nutrients that our body needs to function properly. Nevertheless, not all carbohydrates are good for us, and the key is to consume the right types and amounts.
Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for our bodies. along with Fats and proteins, however carbohydrates are the flavoured source of energy for our brains and nervous system. Our body also uses carbohydrate energy to fuel activity with in our muscles and to keep our organs operating properly. Carbohydrates are also required in turning fats within our bodies into energy.
Carbohydrates eaten within their natural form (unprocessed) are described as 'Good Carbs' as they tend to be healthier. i.e.
Whole Wheat Cereals
These carbs provide us with a steady source of energy because they release sugars into our blood stream slowly. They also keep us feeling fuller for longer, helping to supress our appetite and maintain a healthy weight.
Processed foods and drinks are often described as 'Bad carbs'. i.e.
These foods and drinks provide us with energy, however they do this by packing a lot of calories into a small volume, although having very few other nutrients.
To be healthy we are advised to consume 50% of our daily food intake as Carbohydrates, but less than 18% as sugars.
In the book 'Food Rules'; Michael Pollan says; 'The whiter the bread, the sooner you'll be dead' making the point that, as far as our bodies are concerned, enriched white flour is not much different than sugar. So, our Grandmothers, who lived by the rule of eating whole grains, were right... this is one of many rules to live by for a healthier and longer live.
Healthy Carbohydrate Swap
White Bread -
White Pasta and Rice -
Whole Grain Rice
Peeling Potatoes -
Leaving skins on
White potatoes -
Cakes, Sweets & Biscuits -
Wholegrain Cereal Bars
Sugary Cereal -
Unsweetened Wholegrain or Wholemeal Cereals , such as
Fizzy Drinks -
Diluted Fruit Juices
Carbohydrates support various key functions within our bodies, providing us with energy to complete daily tasks and also the primary fuel source for our brains high energy demands, just focus on eating 'Good Carbs' over 'Bad Carbs' to promote health and well-being.