Have Carbs? Don’t have Carbs? What’s true? There is so much misleading advice about carbs these days it’s hard to tell fact from fiction. A lot of people have suffered as a result and now have a poor relationship with carbs. Whilst a lot of diets tell us that restricting or completely eliminating carbs is the key to better health or weight loss this is not entirely true.

What Are Carbs?

Carbs provide the largest source of energy to our diet. Most of the carbs we eat are broken
down into glucose in our body which is then used by our brain as fuel as well as for exercise.

Although they are definitely useful for our body not all carbs are equal.
There is no doubt you have probably already heard that it is healthier to eat wholegrain
bread instead of white bread. This is because eating refined carbs is like eating energy
without any further benefits.

Complex carbs instead provide sustained energy (glucose is
released slowly) helping you feel fuller for longer. They also contain more nutrients and fibre which is great for bowel health.

Good Carbs

Good-quality carb sources include:

  • Wholegrains
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit

Carbs Daily Intake Recommendation

There is no one-size-fits all approach when it comes to eating carbs, as we are all different. Therefore there is no set optimal intake of carbs for every person. We all vary in regards to age, gender, physical activity level, metabolic rate and personal preference. A rough
recommendation is for carbs to make up approximately 45-65% of total energy intake. So working out how carbohydrates best work for you and your needs is important.

For more carbohydrate nutrition advice tailored to you, see an Accredited Practicing Dietitian.

Article written by Stephanie Sims, Interning Dietitian at ATUNE Health Centres.