Confused about carbs? We answer your most frequently asked questions.
Q “Whic brea i best?”
“Many wholemeal and light rye breads contain very fine flours and have an elevated Glycaemic Index rating,” says Alan Barclay from the Dietitians Association Australia. A better option is a dense, wholegrain loaf with visible seeds and grains.
Q “Ar potatoe fattening?”
Quite the opposite! The humble spud is naturally low in fat. One medium potato has zero grams of fat and just 425kJ (102cal), with the added bonus of fibre, potassium and vitamin C. The real key to a healthy potato is how you prepare it. Turn that same spud into deep-fried potato chips and this swells to 16.8g fat and 1143kJ (273cal)! Lashings of butter and sour cream also add kilojoules.
Q “Shoul I cu ou starch carbs?”
“It’s a myth that starchy vegies like corn, pumpkin and carrots should be avoided if you want to eat a healthy diet and maintain your weight,” says Barclay. “Humans have eaten starchy vegetables like tubers and roots for a very long time with good reason, because these vegetables are healthy, highly nutritious and reduce hunger.”
Q “Shoul I limi carb a night?”
Yes, reducing carbohydrate foods with dinner can be a simple way of reducing your overall daily kilojoule intake.
But if an unbalanced meal leaves you feeling hungry and sends you in search of sweets an hour or so later, then it’s not a good choice or the outcome you want.
“There’s nothing inherently fattening about carbohydrates, no matter when you choose to eat them,” says Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, Dr Tim Crowe.
“It’s actually eating too many kilojoules that will load on the extra kilograms.”