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Nutrients ~ Carbohydrates - Group Talk - Week Commencing 3rd April 2023.

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 Fruit

  • Whole Vegetables

  • Milk

  • Dairy products

  • Whole Grain

  • Brown Rice

  • Whole Wheat Cereals

  • Potatoes

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.

  • Cakes

  • Biscuits

  • Bread

  • Pasta

  • Drinks (Fizzy)

  • Chocolate

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 -

  • Wholemeal

  • Whole Grain

  • Granary

  • Pitta

  • Tortilla Wraps

White Pasta and Rice -

  • Wholewheat Pasta

  • Whole Grain Rice

  • Brown Rice

Peeling Potatoes -

  • Leaving skins on

White potatoes -

  • Sweet Potatoes

  • Yams

  • Beans

Chips/Fries -

  • Quinoa

  • Cous Cous

  • Bulgur Wheat

  • Barley

  • Wholewheat Pasta

  • Rice

  • Noodles

Crisps -

  • Plain Popcorn

Cakes, Sweets & Biscuits -

  • Piece Fruit

  • Wholegrain Cereal Bars

  • Oat Cakes

  • Rice cakes

  • Wholemeal Scones

Sugary Cereal -

Unsweetened Wholegrain or Wholemeal Cereals , such as

  • Weetabix

  • Shredded Wheat

  • Multigrain Muesli

Fizzy Drinks -

  • Diluted Fruit Juices

  • Water

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.


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