good carb bad carbGet your carbs wrong and you can easily look as big as the back end of a bus and feel pretty rubbish too. Get them right and say hello to a slim and vibrant body.

Why do we need carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates should supply us with:

  1. Water (the clue is in the name)
  2. Energy
  3. Fibre
  4. Protein
  5. Essential fats
  6. Vitamins
  7. Minerals

The best sources of carbohydrates include salads and vegetables. Fruit is good too.

Fruit and veg are examples of good carbohydrates. They are unrefined foods so they retain their nutrients. Therefore they have everything your body needs to be able to burn them to produce energy. They can be burned up cleanly, rather than being sent for storage, i.e. fat stores.

Other carbs have less water in them, e.g. foods made out of grains and rice.

When you eat the ‘wrong’ sort of carbs you are eating fattening food. Let’s take white pasta as an example. It’s made out of white refined flour so the fibre, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals have been stripped away and you are left with energy, i.e. calories.

Think of it this way. If you buy a flat pack wardrobe and open up the contents you’ll quickly see that all the big pieces, i.e. the doors, the side bits, etc, are there. However, if the little screws are missing you can’t put the wardrobe up. You could go to your spare drawer and see what you’ve got in there. Maybe you’ve saved some screws from before and can use them. If the drawer is empty you’re stuck, until you go and get what you need.

When you have a plateful of white refined pasta, you can see you have a meal. Perhaps what you can’t see are the things that are missing. When you eat white refined food your body has 2 options.

  1. If you have saved and stored some vitamins and minerals (because you have been eating well) you can burn this stuff off.
  2. If your stores of vitamins and minerals are empty (because you eat a lot of refined and processed food) then your body has little option but to put the calories from the pasta into storage until you do have them.

You can still have pasta but switch to whole grain as they aren’t so bad.

More about good and bad carbs next week!

Uber Health to you

Dr Julie

I explain everything you need to know about nutrition in my book, read the first few pages for free.

Living the Slim life cover