To carb or not to carb?

Published on the 20th Jun, 2011 by Azmina

Are carbs good, bad or ugly? With all the confusing messages out there, it’s sometimes tough to know whether to ditch the carbs or to enjoy them with a clear conscience.

My view is don’t be tempted to go low carb; there’s really no need for you to do this for weight loss and it could be potentially harmful. If you cut out carbs, you could be missing out on a whole range of nutrients. And what do you replace the carbs with? Often low carbing means high fatting  – and eating more fat, especially saturated fat isn’t conducive to healthy eating. Low carb diets often also encourage you to avoid fruits and veg (or at least cut down on them) and this goes against a whole host of studies that support the benefits of fruit and veg for disease prevention.

People with a healthy heart tend to eat more whole grain carbs. You may see reference to heart health on a food label on packets of whole grain cereals. There’s also research to suggest that people who regularly eat whole grains may be better able to manage their weight.

Small amounts of sugary carbs are perfectly acceptable as part of a varied diet; best to have them in small amounts with a meal and reduce sugar rich soft drinks, especially in between meals. Check out my sugar debate blog.

Hear what the experts had to say at the  carb twitter chat on RDUK.