When we think of carbs, most of us have been led to associate the word with weight gain, feeling bloated and bulking up. At Peaches Fresh Food, we believe that when it comes to diet, it’s important to stick by your food beliefs, whether that may be veganism, vegetarianism or full blown I’ll-eat-absolutely-anything-ism. We also believe that whatever your diet includes, it should be balanced. It’s really important to ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients that your body needs to be healthy and food is the easiest (and yummiest) way to do that. That being said, we feel we need to defend carbohydrates’ honour and expose the truth about a category of food that is so crucial to anyone’s diet, as long as we’re informed as to which types of carbs do good things for our body and which ones don’t. Plus, we’re Italian, so naturally, we love pasta. Everyone should eat pasta.
So, what is a carbohydrate? Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients we need to live and can be found mainly in grains, but also in vegetables, fruit and milk and help us to make and store energy as well as aid our digestive system. There are two main types of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.
These include white sugar and any non-refined sugars as well as glucose, fructose and sucrose. It’s really important to keep an eye out for simple carbs as they provide little to no nutritional benefit and have a high amount of calories. That’s not to say cut out sugar all together! A life without sweets would be miserable, so as long as you’re aware of these facts and eat this in small moderation, you can still maintain a healthy diet and find pleasure from your food.
These are well, much more complex. They’re called complex because they pack in a whole lot more nutrients than simple carbs. Complex carbs contain fibre or starch or both and can be categorised easily to help you remember which ones are better for your body.
White Complex Carbs
This type of carbohydrate includes white bread, pasta and rice, which are processed and won’t contain as much nutrients in the foods, so might give us a spike in energy and then a decline.
Wholegrain Complex Carbs
These are amazing for our bodies! They contain a huge amount of fibre which is great for our digestive system and helps to control cholesterol. It is also extremely slow releasing energy which means these foods will keep you feeling full and energised for longer. Wholegrain complex carbs include wholegrain pasta, bread, rice and quinoa.
The final type of complex carbohydrate is root vegetables. Think pumpkin, squash, parsnip, carrots, sweet potatoes and turnips. Jam packed full of vitamins and minerals, these are awesome to include in your diet.
Now that we know what carbs are good and what carbs are not so good, we can start to responsibly add them to our diet. Up to about 40% of every meal can include carbohydrates, as long as you’re getting the right nutrition from them. Of course, we love white pasta and bread and we don’t shy away from eating them. Just be conscious that wholegrain foods will give you more energy that will last for longer and are also important to include in your diet.
So, go forth and eat carbs! If we inform ourselves on the basics of nutrition, we give our bodies a much better chance of being healthy and feeling good. Don’t be fooled by fad diets and a blanket attitude that carbs mean fat. Just like any food, know what it is and eat in moderation for a balanced diet, and most of all, enjoy what you eat!
For more info, feel free to pop in and have a chat to our friendly staff about the Peaches Fresh Food range.