Myths About Carbs Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Myth 1: If you have diabetes, you should only eat small amounts of starchy foods, such as bread, potatoes and pasta.

Fact: Carbohydrate foods can be part of a healthy meal plan, but portion size is the key. Whole grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yams, peas and corn can be included in your meals and snacks. In addition to these foods, fruits, beans, milk, yogurt, and sweets are also sources of carbohydrate that you need to count in your meal plan.

Wondering how much carbohydrate you can have? A place to start is about 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per main meal. However, you may need more or less carbohydrate at meals depending on how you manage your diabetes. You and your health care team can figure out the right amount for you. Once you know how much carb to eat at a meal, choose your food and the portion size to match.

Myth 2: Carbs Are Inherently Fattening

We are all know sugar and refined carbs are very dense in carbohydrates and “fuel” and if over consumed can lead to weight gain and a rise in your blood glucose levels.

But using sugar and carbohydrates in the same sentence does not mean they have the same effect.

The truth is… not all carbs are fattening. It depends completely on the context and the type of food they are in. Carbohydrates can also be ranked against its rate of absorption into the blood stream known as glycaemic index.

The glycaemic index is a ranking of carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. It compares foods gram for gram of carbohydrate. Carbohydrates that breakdown quickly during digestion have the highest glycaemic indexes. The blood glucose response is fast and high. Carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low glycaemic indexes.

The benefits of a Low GI foods is that they provide a slow release blood sugar levels which helps keep you feeling fuller for longer and provides longer lasting energy.

For carbs to be “fattening,” they need to be refined/ processed and put into a package that is highly palatable and encourages overconsumption for example crisps, lollies and chocolate.

Consuming carbohydrates in their natural state as found in nature is not refined Many populations around the world have maintained good health on a high-carb diets with real and unprocessed foods carbohydrates such as rice.

Overall, It’s not “carbs” that make you fat, but an excess of Total Calories consumed from all macro nutrients including proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Keep in mind fats have 9 Calories per gram whereas protein and carbohydrates have 4 kcal. Carbohydrates have less than ½ the calories found in fat.

MYTH 3: It’s best to cut carbs if you want to lose weight.

Cutting carbs out can be dangerous to you body as they provide:

  • Nutrients your body needs such as fibre, B group vitamins and fuel.
  • Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy, especially for your brain.
  • Remember that carbs include rice and grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Carbohydrates are also important for digestion