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Not all carbs are equal

by , 16 September 2014

Recently carbs have received negative attention in the media with Tim Noakes Banting Diet and various other low carbs diets becoming popular.

But do you really know what carbs are?

Where they come from?

And why should you eat them?

Read on to discover the truth about carbs…

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What are carbs and where do they come from? 

Carbs are made up of carbon atoms, hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms. Carbs in their simplest form are what we know as ‘sugar’.
 
There are three types of carbs or simple sugars. 
 
1. Monosaccharides – are carbs like glucose and fructose. Fructose is found in fruits and juices. But both glucose and fructose are carbs added to products to enhance their flavours. 
 
2. Disaccharides – are carbs like sucrose, table sugar and lactose. These sugars are found in milk products. 
 
3. Polysaccharides – are complex carbs including starches and fibre. These carbs are found in foods like bread, pastas, oats, corn, potatoes and the skin of fruit, beans and legumes. Basically anything that grows naturally but didn’t come from an animal. 
 
The simpler the carb, the faster it can be broken down and absorbed into your bloodstream for your body to use as energy. 
 
So why do you need carbs?
 
Carbs don’t only provide you with energy, but you’ll also get:
 
Iron: Which is found in beans and fruits. 
Calcium: From dairy products and milk. 
Potassium: In foods like bananas, beans and other fruits. 
Vitamin B12: In dairy products like cheese. 
Magnesium: In foods like spinach and whole grains. 
And dietary fibre: From carbs like brown rice, basmati rice, vegetables and fruits. 
 
It’s the type of carb you choose to eat that can be bad for you. 
 
Typically a carb modified from its original form is bad for you.
 
I’m talking about processed foods like white breads, pastas and sweets. 
 
Or where simple sugars like corn syrup are added to a carb. For example – when fruit juice is created, Fructose gets extracted but the fibrous portion of fruit is removed and in most cases sugar is added for flavour.
 
So the original form has been modified and all the good dietary fibre has been taken from the juice so it loses the real power of the good carb. 
 
So… You just need to know the right carbs to eat 
 
You should eat carbs like sweet potato, basmati rice, fresh fruit, potatoes and the many carbohydrates found in vegetables will provide you with good nutrients daily. For more info on which carbs to include in your diet click here
 

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