So carbohydrates are foods that are made up of sugars, starches and dietary fibre. All Carbs (CHO’s) have sugar in them. What makes them different is their chemical structure. So simple CHO’s give you that quick burst of energy. Complex CHO’s are made of long chains of sugars that the body has to work to break down. So complex CHO’s give you sustained energy.
Sugars in the food we buy are often hidden, foods that say low or no fat, does not mean no sugar (often). So when you are reading food labels look for (some of these very obvious) – Sucrose, Fructose, Lactose, Glucose, Sorbitol, Manitol, Corn Syrup, Honey, Maltose, Rice Extract, Molasses, Golden Syrup. If any of these are listed and are the first 3 ingredients on the panel the item will be quite high in sugar.
On average Australians are getting 25% of the CHO’s from simple CHO. The WHO recommends that we should have 50-70% of Complex CHO in our diet. On average we only manage 45%….. with more than half from simple CHO’s laden with sugar!! Does not take Einstein to figure out this is all wrong! The result being that the body burns that food off very quickly, we get hungry and we eat sooner than we should be….. the body can only process so much CHO’s in a day before it gets stored….. as fat.
So the more food is in its natural state, the better for you. It is also about portion control. Dinner plates are now bigger, so we seem to have this need to fill the whole plate.
For your protein, your body does not need more than about your palm size. Try to limit potatoes, pumpkins etc. If you have pasta, make it wholegrain… the body then has to work harder to burn it off. The body is always using energy. Its called Thermogenesis… it accounts for 15% of our daily energy expenditure. So you may as well make your body work a bit harder and increase your daily fibre! Keep the portions of pasta and rice smaller than your portion of protein… about half. Then, salads, or green veggies should make up the rest of the meal.
The body does need CHO’s for energy, crazy not to eat them. It’s the types that you choose that make the difference.
Below is a link talking about CHO’s