Avoiding carbs is akin to not putting premium fuel in your car. Sure, it’ll work, but for most of us it’ll work far from its best.
While the body can use protein and fat for energy, it takes considerably more time and effort. Carbohydrates are the easiest macro-nutrient for the body to convert into energy, it is also the preferred energy source for our brain.
While we should limit ‘simple’ carbohydrates such as sugars, more complex carbs are excellent sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Learn to love carbs again with the 3 P’s…Planning, Portion Control and Preparation.
- Shop for low Glycemic Index (GI), wholegrain carbohydrate sources such as seedy bread, brown, basmati or doongara rice, quinoa, buckwheat, wholemeal cous cous, wholemeal pasta, freekeh and pearl barley
- Carbohydrate sources with added sugar should be consumed sometimes and in small amounts. A guide to spotting added sugars can be found here
- Be fussy with prepackaged cereals. Ideally choose cereals with <15g sugar per 100g for varieties without fruit and <20g per 100g for varieties with dried fruit
- Your amount will depend on how active you are, your age, gender and muscle mass. Most of us need only 4-6 serves of grains and cereals each day. 1 serve is 1 slice of bread, 2/3 cup flaky cereal or 1/3 cup muesli/oats, 1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta, 1/2 cup cooked pasta, brown or basmati rice, cous cous, quinoa, buckwheat, freekeh or 1 medium potato.
- Use oil spreads sparingly on bread/toast or try with alternate spread such as Cottage cheese, ricotta or avocado
- Use tomato based sauces on pasta and add lots of vegetables
- Use spray oil when cooking potatoes instead of deep frying or lathering with oil spreads
Lower carbohydrate and less so Ketogenic diets diets can be effective for some people in weight loss. Speak with a dietitian before embarking on either of these diets to ensure they are right for you and to help you conduct them safely where appropriate.
For more information on Ketogenic diets read this.