The health and wellbeing column with Mel Spencer

Carbs falls into two distinct categories ' complex and simple.
Carbs falls into two distinct categories ' complex and simple.

Last time we dispelled the myth that all fats are bad for you – today we are going to do the same with carbs.

These are the real enemy, if misunderstood – and they are very misunderstood.

The last thing I ever tell my clients to do is cut anything out – if you’re anything like me, that will make you want it more!

Moderation is the key.

Although it can be hard to avoid as sugar is hidden is so many things – cereals, sauces, yoghurts (yep, those low fat ones!) and dressings to name but a few.

The key with carbs isn’t to not eat them, ditch the mantra ‘no carbs before Marbs’ – we need them, in fact one recent study showed that people following a low carb diets life expectancy was on average four years less than the norm – beware all those Atkins devotees out there!

So what are the right carbs?

All carbs are sugars but they fall into two distinct categories – complex and simple.

Simple are easily absorbed by the body and tend to make blood sugar spike, whereas complex one, as the name suggests, are more complex and harder for the body to absorb giving a slower release of energy.

It is the simple carbohydrates that we should be avoiding and their resultant effects on blood sugar. Ideally our energy should be coming from the more complex carbs.

Included in the ‘good’ list is anything wholemeal – brown bread, brown pasta, brown rice.

Also, and of great importance, your body will burn more fat alongside wholemeal carbs whereas when taking in simple, sugary carbs your body stops burning fat and you will feel hungry more often.

In an ideal world we would ‘front load’ our carbs so that carbs would be consumed at breakfast – for energy – and phased out throughout the day.

So that’s carbs in a nutshell.

If you have any questions, or would like further information, just make contact