The an­nual pre-sum­mer panic has cre­ated car­bo­pho­bia the ditch­ing of a whole food group in a bid to get beach-ready. But it doesn’t have to be that way, as David Smiedt dis­cov­ers

Sunday Mail - Body and Soul - - FRONT PAGE -

“When we be­gin to de­monise a par­tic­u­lar mi­cronu­tri­ent – in the past it was fat and now it’s car­bo­hy­drates – we tend to take a black and white ap­proach,” di­eti­tian, nu­tri­tion­ist and author Dr Joanna McMil­lan says. “There are carbs that are good for you and those that aren’t. By just avoid­ing all of them you can make it harder to lose weight and get healthy.”

Nu­tri­tion­ist Lyndi Po­livnick agrees. “Many peo­ple be­lieve that car­bo­hy­drates make you fat, but they’re not fat­ten­ing. If you eat too much, par­tic­u­larly of the less healthy carbs, you may no­tice weight gain but too much of any food is bad for you. Of­ten when peo­ple cut out carbs, they feel less sat­is­fied af­ter a meal and end up eat­ing more.

“Very low carb di­ets have also been as­so­ci­ated with higher rates of de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety. Cut­ting out car­bo­hy­drates is a sure-fire way to feel more lethar­gic and flat.” slowly and re­sult in a lower blood glu­cose re­sponse and feel­ings of full­ness.

“Good carbs are whole­grains, such as bar­ley, oats, legumes (beans and lentils), buck­wheat and quinoa, whole­grain ce­re­als and breads from rye, bar­ley and oats,” McMil­lan says.

“A good rule to re­mem­ber is that the closer a prod­uct looks to its nat­u­ral state, the bet­ter it prob­a­bly is for you.”

Car­bo­hy­drate-rich pro­cessed foods and drinks are also high in sugar or re­fined starches with lit­tle or no nu­tri­tional value, Borgo says. “They pro­vide our bod­ies with ‘empty kilo­joules’ and are of­ten com­bined with fat and salt which make them palat­able and mor­eish. Th­ese poorer choices in­clude soft drinks, chips, bis­cuits, desserts and take­aways.”

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