That dreaded word we all hate, right? Short for carbohydrate, it’s that ludicrous food stuff that makes us just PILE on the pounds. Night out? No carbs. Holiday soon? No carbs. Surely they’re nothing but bad. That’s what the internet tells us, right? Fitness and health gurus tell us to stay clear, and with so many success stories from Atkins and Cambridge diets, is there anything positive to this devils food?
So, let’s get this straight. CARBS ARE WONDERFUL. THEY ARE TASTY, VERSATILE, FILLING, PROVIDE US WITH ENERGY TO FUNCTION AND ARE (mostly) GOOD FOR US!
As a Nutritionist, there are many trends and horror stories about food lurking in the big wide world of social media, but none quite ruffle my feathers like the avoidance of carbs.
Let’s throw in some little facts you probably didn’t know. Food is primarily made up of carbs, protein and fat, in different quantities dependant on the food product you are consuming. A huge 50% of your daily energy intake should come from carbs. They are a staple for your health. Carbs readily contain glucose, which means that energy is readily available for activity, fitness and even your bodily functions! Carbs also only contain 4kcal/g, compared to fat which totals in at 9kcals/g – this in fact means you can eat a WHOLE lot more carbs that fat to mean your energy requirements.
When you say carbs, do you instantly think about fast food and naughty treats? Well, they do contains carbs, but also a whole lot of fats too. The carbs in these are in fact, not as good for you, taking the form of simple sugars, which overconsumption can lead to weight gain and chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Carbs come in all wonderful (science) shapes and sizes.
One things that shocks most is that fruit and veg are almost whole heartedly carbohydrate, and you should be packing plenty of these into your daily diet! They also contain plenty of water, which keeps the calories low and your hydration levels high! If you’re really looking for that health benefit, be sure to pack in loads of green veggies into your diet, as these are rich in nutrients, including iron!
And carbs such as pasta and rice? Go for them! Watch your portion sizes and choice of side (daily cheesy sauce may taste great, but it ain’t doing any good for those arteries..) and they are the perfect part of a healthy balanced diet. If you choose brown or wholewheat options, you can also increase your fibre intake and help your gut function and digestion!
I could go on for days and days and days about the importance and brilliance of carbs. But the basic message I’m trying to say here? – LOVE YOUR CARBS.
Choose balance, choose your faves and mix it up. Carbs are wonderful and you should eat them plentifully!
Oh and gluten isn’t bad for you!! (Unless you have coeliac disease, then I’m SO sorry for you, you lil stars)
Toast and love,
Emma is a Registered Dietitian and Registered Associate Nutritionist based in Cheshire, England. Emma works in community healthcare and writes freelance alongside her work: topics including Dietetic life, nutrition, mental health and lifestyle. Emma also writes and photographs recipes for the platform, as well as being the author of the ‘Mummy and Me’ series for SR Nutrition. Emma’s Food Stories is PR friendly brand.