Wednesday, 31 July 2013

How many carbs do we really need?

Yes, we all need carbs, but what most people forget is that most foods we consume are carbs - so you don't really need to think about whether you are getting enough, or carbo-loading before training or a sports event.  The truth is, most of us are actually eating far too many carbs.
And what are they anyway?  Well, in the body they are basically sugar (called glucose), and used for energy.  But if you don't need all that energy and you are not burning off all those glucose molecules what happens to them?  Well unfortunately they turn to fat!
So should we eat low fat foods to help combat this?  No we shouldn't.  And why not?  Because if they are low in fat they are normally high in sugar (their great taste has to come from something!), and that sugar, if not burned off, will turn to.......fat!
For how long have we all been focusing on the wrong thing.
It is now widely recognised that sugar is the culprit, not fat - we need good fats to help feed our brain and to keep our cell membranes supple, to allow nutrients in and waste out.
But what we do need to think about is where our carbs come from - it's not all just about bread and pasta (especially as a growing number of people are becoming intolerant to wheat products).  There are so many great natural complex carbs, that will help to sustain long-term energy and also provide other nutrients like fibre and minerals.
Brown rice is a great example - it may take longer to cook and longer to chew, but that is the reason it will sustain you for longer too!  Plus it is rich in manganese, selenium, magnesium, tryptophan, B vitamins and fibre - what's not to like.
And if you have a sweet tooth, adding cinnamon to this lovely pudding may also help with your sugar cravings!

Dairy-free Brown Rice Pudding - cook brown rice according to the pack instructions.  Towards to the end of cooking stir in dairy-free milk, cashew nuts, ground cinnamon and a few raisins, then cook for a little while longer.  Serve with a drizzle of blackstrap molasses - delicious!

No comments: