Published on: 27/1/19, 8:16 pm
Carbs or carbohydrates are molecules that have carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. In nutrition terms they refer to one of three macronutrients. The other two are protein and fat. Dietary carbohydrates can be split into three main categories: Sugars, Starches and Fibre. The main purpose of carbohydrates is to provide energy.
What are refined carbs?
Not all carbs are created equal. They are often referred to as simple or complex/whole or refined. Whole carbs are unprocessed and contain the fibre found naturally in food while refined carbs have been processed and had the natural fibre stripped out. Examples of whole carbs include vegetables, whole fruit, potatoes and whole grains. These foods are generally healthy. Refined carbs include sugar
sweetened drinks, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice etc. Numerous studies have shown that eating refined carbohydrates is linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. They tend to cause major spikes in blood sugar levels followed by a crash that can trigger hunger and craving for more high-carb food.
Carb Free diets
These types of diets restrict carbohydrates while allowing plenty of protein and fat. Over 23 studies have shown that low carb diets are much more effective than the standard “low-fat” diet that has been recommended for the past few decades. These studies show that low-carb diets cause more weight loss and lead to greater improvement in various health markers including HDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides, blood sugar and blood pressure.
Vegetables - It is best to eat a variety of vegetables every day
Whole fruits - apples, bananas, strawberries etc
Legumes - lentils, kidney beans, peas etc
Nuts - Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts etc
Seeds - Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds.
Whole grains - choose grains that are truly whole as in pure oats, quinoa, brown rice etc.
Tubers - potatoes, sweet potatoes etc
People who are trying to restrict carbs need to be careful with whole grains, legumes, tubers and high sugar fruit. It has been suggested that to lose weight you need to eat less than 20g of carb per day.
Sugary drinks & fruit juices - Coca cola, Pepsi, vitamin water etc.
White bread - this is refined carbohydrate that are low in essential nutrients and bad for metabolic health.
Pastries, cookies and cakes - these tend to be very high in sugar and refined wheat
Ice cream - most types of ice cream are very high in sugar
Candies and chocolates - if you are going to eat chocolate choose quality dark chocolate
French fries and crisps - whole potatoes are healthy but French fries and crisps are not.
These foods may be fine in moderation for some people, but many will do best by avoiding them as much as possible. If you have a lot of weight to lose, or have health problems like metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes then you are probably carbohydrate sensitive and reducing your carbohydrate intake can have clear life-saving benefits.
For more information, speak to our pharmacist or a member of our trained staff.
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