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The Truth About Low-Carbohydrate Diets

Just like fat, carbohydrates have had quite a rough time in recent years, being deemed the enemy, low-carb and no carb diets have become a “trend”.

In a bid to lose weight people have dramatically lowered their carbohydrate consumption. There is so much confusion out there with regards to carbohydrates and low-carbohydrate diets; it is no wonder that women fear it. We have all heard the myth that eating carbs past 6pm will make you fat. This is simply untrue, what makes us fat is when we take in more calories than our body’s energy demands.

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy; they also play an important role in the central nervous system, kidneys and muscles. It’s also a source of fibre which is essential for healthy digestion. We need it in our diets on a daily basis. However not all carbs have been created equal so it is important to choose the right types of carbohydrate.  The 2 types of carbohydrate are simple & complex. Simple carbohydrates are the type we want to limit; they are mainly full of sugar-fizzy drinks, cakes & pastries. Complex carbohydrates are found in fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Complex carbohydrates provide slow releasing energy. Some fruits and vegetables are high in natural sugars, and can provide a healthy boost of energy when needed.

Pasta is a great foundation for a healthy balanced meal, providing a source of dietary fibre which is essential to help regulate the digestive system, it also helps to lower cholesterol.

Portion size and the high-calorie ingredients paired with pasta is more to blame for the bad rep. Some restaurant portions could do your lunch for the whole week, not to mention the heavy cream used for the sauce. Thankfully recent research can help shine some light on the problem with low-carbohydrate diets. The study with over 23,000 participants published recently in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes found that participants who ate moderate portions of pasta had a lower BMI and waist-to-hip ratio. We already know that the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest diets across the globe, promoting heart health by eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, legumes and nuts, olive oil and the occasional glass of red wine.

Another common myth is that you shouldn’t eat white pasta? Well you can, it is true the brown variety has more fibre but as long as you are eating a healthy balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables there isn’t a problem in choosing white pasta.

So don’t aim for a low-carbohydrate diet, instead enjoy carbohydrates as part of your daily balanced diet and don’t assume a food is bad or makes you fat simply because it is a carbohydrate. Your body needs them and that is a fact. “Still not sure about carbohydrates and low carbohydrate diets? You can read more about how to choose the right diet for you or you can get started with a diet plan from Jane Plan were you don’t have to worry about the amount you are eating with a carefully controlled diet plan designed for you.

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