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Carbohydrates — how much is too much and are they good for you?
Tuesday, 22 September · 1 min read

As the seasons change it's not unusual to reach for comfort foods like carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are an important part of your diet, and are supposed to be your body’s main source of energy. In fact, at least 50% of your total calories should come from carbohydrates.

Many carbohydrate foods, such as potatoes, bread and cereals, also contain dietary fibre, an essential nutrient that’s thought to lower your risk of:

  • heart disease
  • stroke
  • type 2 diabetes
  • bowel cancer

You should aim to eat a fist-sized portion of carbohydrates with each meal. But the type of carbohydrates you eat is also important.

Simple carbohydrates, found in fruit juice, jam and sweets, tend to be digested quickly, causing a sudden spike in your energy levels before quickly dropping again.

But complex carbohydrates, like quinoa, chickpeas and lentils, are broken down more slowly, which means you stay fuller for longer.

Complex carbohydrates are also less likely to be turned into fat, and they’re often found in foods that contains other vitamins and minerals, like wholemeal bread.

Quote of the day

Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health.

Julia Child, cookery teacher and author

4 good sources of complex carbohydrates