The truth about cutting down on carbs

From traditional favourites like chips, door step slices of bread or pasta, starchy carbohydrates appear on any list of popular foods. Unfortunately it's too easy to let willpower fall by the wayside and over indulge on these tasty and filling options, which is why the pounds gradually creep on.

The easiest and healthiest way to achieve the shape you want is to maintain a healthy proportion of the different food groups - carbohydrate consumption should make up no more than 1/3 of your daily food intake.

DEcarb can help you reduce the number of calories converted from the carbohydrates you eat, minimising the impact of food cravings following a high carbohydrate meal.

Understanding carbohydrates

Carbohydrates form one of seven key food groups, which when eaten in the correct proportions play an important role in a healthy balanced diet. The key food groups comprise:

  • Carbohydrates: provide an important source of energy
  • Proteins: an important source of materials for growth and repair
  • Fats: an additional source of energy and aid digestion of fat soluble vitamins
  • Mineral Salts: essential for healthy teeth, bones, muscles etc
  • Fibre: important for digestive health
  • Water: to keep the body hydrated

Carbohydrates are an ideal energy source when eaten in the right proportions. The British Nutrition Foundation advises that carbohydrates should account for about 1/3 of our daily food allowance.

Carbohydrates come in two types: starchy and sugary, otherwise known as complex and simple carbohydrates. Both types of carbohydrate occur naturally and also in processed or refined foods. To follow a healthy diet we need to be selective in choosing those carbohydrates we eat.

As a rule, natural starchy carbohydrates provide a slower and more sustained release of energy than refined or sugary carbohydrates. This means they play a key role in good health and managing your appetite and energy levels.

Refined and sugary carbohydrates are turned into glucose more rapidly. This causes significant blood sugar peaks, followed by an inevitable low - more commonly called a blood sugar crash - that can lead to hunger pangs and mood swings.

  • Natural sugary carbohydrates are found in fruit and vegetables - good
  • Natural starchy carbohydrates include brown bread and brown rice - good
  • Refined starchy carbohydrates include white bread and white rice - bad
  • Refined sugary carbohydrates include fizzy drinks and biscuits - bad
  • Fibre: important for digestive health
  • Water: to keep the body hydrated

The body utilises these different carbohydrates in different ways.

All carbohydrates are broken down by the body into glucose - a form of sugar - which our cells then convert into energy. The way glucose is digested is important: the slower the better, as this leads to stable energy levels and fewer hunger pangs.

Excess glucose is also stored in our liver or fat tissue for later use. However, if we eat more food than we need during the day then this additional energy remains unused and can lead to weight gain.

DEcarb reduces calorie intake by blocking up to two thirds of starchy carbohydrates eaten - both natural and refined - and helps minimise food cravings.

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