Firstly, let’s understand what people mean when they say “carbs” and understand why they can be very confusing. Many people believe or have been told by a friend, that they should avoid carbohydrates such as pasta, bagels, fruit, sugars… and so on.
Carbohydrates include both a mix of sugars and starches. An example of this would be, unripe fruits are starchy, but as they begin to ripen they become sweeter resulting in the starches converting into sugars. All forms of carbohydrates digest into glucose, which travels in the blood and is preserved to fuel your muscles for workouts.
Not all carbohydrates are equal, there are many different types which can vary in regards to their health effects. Whole carbs are unprocessed and contain a good amount of natural nutrients such a fibre, whereas refined carbs are processed and the natural fibre has been removed. An example of a whole carb would be foods such as; vegetables, fruits, potatoes and whole grains, these foods tend to be the healthiest. Refined carbs consist of, processed fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice and many more. You can view all of our meals here, to see all the whole carbohydrates we put into our meals.
Therefore when people are telling you that carbohydrates can cause health problems such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, they are referring to refined carbohydrates. This is due to them causing a spike in blood sugar levels which result in a crash that can trigger further hunger and cravings. These refined carbohydrates are also referred to as “empty” calories as they lack essential nutrients.
On the other hand, whole foods are full of nutrients which don’t cause the spike in blood sugar levels mentioned. Studies have shown that high-fibre carbohydrates are linked to improving metabolic health and a lower risk of diseases.
To conclude to whether carbs are making you fat, there is no, ‘one-size-fits-all’ when we talk about nutrition. So if you are searching for the optimal carbohydrate intake amount, there is no certain amount, it all depends on; age, gender, metabolic health, physical activity, food culture and your preferences.
If you are looking to lose weight, or you suffer from health problems such as metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes, then you may be carbohydrate sensitive meaning you may benefit from sticking to a low carb diet. However, if you just prefer to eat fewer carbohydrates from personal preference, reducing your carbohydrates can still have many other health benefits.
On the other hand, if you are a healthy person, looking to get fit and stay healthy, then there is no real reason for you to be avoiding carbohydrates. So we would recommend that you stick to a well-balanced diet, with a good amount of whole carbohydrates as mentioned earlier. If you are naturally lean/very active then you may even want to opt for a higher carb diet, to fuel your intense workouts.
Here at Diets 2 Go, we want to help you achieve your goals how big or small they may be, therefore if you require a weightloss diet, then we can tailor this to your specific needs. Simply fill in our free goals consultation section here.
Personal Trainer & Fitness Blogger
English professional rugby league footballer
Olympic Gold Medal Winning Cyclist
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I have been signed up to Diets 2 Go for over 4 months now, meals are consistent & always delicious without fail. Takes the time & stress of cooking and preparing food away, delivered straight to my house 2 times a week. Great service all round. Highly recommended!Art By Hanlon
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