“Carbohydrates make you fat”. Ok, so let’s look at where the truth lies in this because this is something that I see being misunderstood by people far too often.
The truth is that yes, eating large quantities of carbohydrates unnecessarily could lead to weight gain, but this is not exclusive to carbohydrates. Eating large quantities of any food can contribute to weight gain so let’s not single out carbohydrates when in truth, they are an essential macronutrient which should be consumed as part of a healthy eating pattern.
So let’s look at the facts of carbs:
1. Carbs can enhance your mood
Heard of serotonin? Well that’s the feel-good brain chemical which contributes to having
feelings of happiness and research suggests that healthy carb-rich diets promote the
production of serotonin, reducing those feelings of lowness, anxiety and anger.
2. Carbs prevent weight gain
Carbohydrates often contain fibre and foods with fibre keep you feeling full for longer. Not
only that, but a fibre rich diet supports healthy digestion and is essential for your gut to
3. Carbs care for your heart!
Back to the fantastic fibre… soluble-fibre (a type found in carb-rich foods like oats and
beans) can reduce our level of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. Higher levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol
has also been found among those who eat more whole grains (my personal faves are quinoa
and brown rice). So remember your heart health and carb care for your cholesterol.
4. Carbs can support weight loss
Research suggests that switching refined grains for wholegrains reduces total body fat, with
studies on adults demonstrating a reduction in abdominal fat in those eating 3 servings of
wholegrains a day compared to those who eat less than a quarter of a serving.
5. Carbs are a companion to your memory
Carbohydrates support memory functioning and thinking. Multiple studies demonstrate a
link between low/zero-carb diets and poor thinking and memory performance. I can
certainly speak from experience, carbs are definitely a friend when it comes to powering the brain! My carb-free college days may have caused my studies to suffer but now I value brain power far more than diet-myths! Most mornings I tend to catch up with my carb companion porridge… my top fave combo’s soon to be revealed…!
6. Carbs can actually help you lose fat… so forget the ‘carbohydrates make you fat’
Back to breakfast chat… studies have shown that eating a breakfast with ‘slow-release’
carbohydrates such as oats or bran rather than refined carbohydrates such as white toast,
can help your body burn more fat during exercise.
SO basically…. carbohydrates are an essential part of our diet that enhance our brains as
well as our bodies. As I firmly believe, no food should be eliminated from our diet as no
foods are neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’. Care for your carbs as your carbs care for you!