The biggest diet myth in my opinion, is that « carbs are bad« .
Carbohydrates are so misunderstood. They should be the main macronutrient of your diet (45% to 65% of your daily calorie intake should come from carbs) alongside proteins and fat. Carbs are molecules of various sizes made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms.
– simple carbohydrates or sugars are made of 1 or 2 molecules. They are also called mono or di-saccharides. Because they are small, they are very quick to digest and reach the blood. Examples are of course sugar, honey, maple syrup… These are also the sugars contained in fruits.
– complex carbs are chains of more than 3 sugar molecules. They are called polysaccharides. They take longer to digest (that is, broken down in monosaccharides), providing a longer lasting source of energy. Typical sources include (whole grain) pasta, rice, starchy veg such as potatoes, legumes…
– fibre is a type of carbohydrate that we can’t digest but plays an essential role in our metabolism: blood sugars regulation, satiety, good gut health and regular bowel movement…
Carbs are the essential fuel of human physiology (your brain relies on carbs/glucose) and as such support all bodily functions. They are found in foods that not only provide energy but also vitamins, minerals and chemicals important for good health.
While we all need to limit (not ban!) simple sugar (over the course of a week), complex carbs are an integral part of a healthy diet and crucial if you want to maintain or lose weight as they help you feel full for longer, reducing cravings. They also have an important role in the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels.
In short, be smart, eat carbs 🙂