Carbs are not your enemy
Carbs are a fabulous source of energy and are definitely not your enemy. However, with so many diets, and by now you know I hate the concept of diets, suggesting you either avoid carbs (Atkins style) or eat them in unlimited quantities (Slimming World I am looking at you and your ‘free’ rice and pasta), its all got a tad confusing.
To be clear, the body needs carbohydrates for energy. Carbs are macronutrients as are proteins and fats – all three are needed by the body and many foods contains all three macronutrients.
Within the carb category, you will find sugar. Sugar carbs are the ones you should limit. Natural sugars can be found in fruit which is why it is preferable to use vegetables to make up most of your 5 a day as opposed to fruit. Processed sugar, found in cakes, biscuits chocolate etc really does need to be limited as it brings barely any benefits to your body. Arguably, it makes you crave more processed sugar and so takes you down in a spiral of sugar addiction which obviously does not help with weight loss or health.
Vegetables on the other hand are super carbohydrates and provide many benefits. As a very general rule, veggies which grow above ground such as cauliflower and broccoli and better than those carb veggies which grow below ground such as potatoes.
Peas tend to be categorised as carbohydrates and do have a reasonable high percentage of carbs like other legumes such as corn and lentils. Peas have to be one of the easiest vegetables to keep and cook – out of the freezer, into a pan of boiling water and 3 – 5 minutes later, hey presto some lovely green veg.
So, for your evening meal, if you think you need potatoes, pasta or rice next to you protein, think again as a plate of vegetables will give you carb energy and keep the calorie count down and stop you feeling so sluggish.
The message really is don’t avoid carbs, just limit the sugar ones which provide limited value. Don’t rely on lots of pasta and rice unless you are training for a sporting event such as a half marathon when a degree of carb loading may be recommended.