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Are Carbs Really That Bad?

We hear every day that sugars and carbohydrates are not good for us, and they can cause weight gain if consumed excessively. As a registered dietitian I hear that constantly in my practice. There is some truth and some misinformation in these claims, so let me explain further.

There are three types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch, and fibre, and they are all composed of sugar molecules. However, when we talk about sugar, we are referring to a type of carbohydrate called simple carbohydrates, which contain one or two sugar molecules. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates, such as starch and fibre, consist of many more sugar molecules.

Simple carbohydrates are quickly absorbed by the body due to their simple molecular structure. They lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, and the body needs to work hard to regulate and remove the excess sugar. If the calorie intake exceeds our body’s needs, it can result in initial fat/weight gain. It’s essential to control blood sugar levels for effective weight management. Regularly consuming sugars in our meals puts us at risk of developing chronic and inflammatory diseases, including obesity, diabetes, arthritis, atherosclerosis, cancer, autoimmune conditions, and more. As you can see, sugar is not solely related to weight gain and dental problems. Additionally, sugar can create addictive tendencies similar to drugs, as it activates similar brain pathways and can lead to withdrawal symptoms when consumption is reduced. The more sugar you have, the more you’ll crave.

Complex carbohydrates, like starch, take longer to be digested and absorbed by the body. However, it’s still a relatively fast process. So, what can we do to reduce simple sugar content in our diet and still enjoy our food? After all, eating is one of life’s great pleasures, wouldn’t you agree?

The following Low Carb Tips are crucial to reducing sugar content in your diet, balancing sugar levels, and reducing inflammation in your cells while still enjoying your meals:

Eat a diet high in fibre. This will slow down the absorption of sugar from the small intestine into the bloodstream. Include plenty of leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables in your meals. Fibre also provides satiety without excessive calorie intake.

Include lean and clean protein in every meal. Protein will increase satiety and help reduce carbohydrate consumption. Dietary protein supports muscle growth, and maintaining good muscle mass enhances metabolism efficiency, aiding weight loss.

Avoid empty calories found in processed and packaged foods. Instead, choose nutrient-rich, fresh foods. Did you know that when your body receives all the necessary nutrients, sugar cravings minimise?

Opt for whole fruits instead of juices, dried fruits, or artificially sugary foods. Whole fruits contain fibre, which helps stabilise blood sugar levels and prevent weight gain (fat gain).

Increase your intake of plant-based fats slightly. Healthy fats nourish your cells and contribute to their proper functioning. Our cells are partially composed of fats, and ensuring their health impacts weight management and overall well-being.

Drink a glass of water before each meal. Water has no calories but provides a feeling of fullness, aiding in better food choices. Hydration is crucial for weight loss, as all bodily reactions are water-based.

Consider having a protein shake as a snack. Consuming an extra serving of protein per day increases satiety, boosts metabolism, and reduces the temptation to have sugary snacks.

Now you have a better understanding of what carbohydrates are and how they can impact our health, both negatively and positively. Always remember, we are what we eat and what we don’t eat. Let food be your medicine, and you will live a fuller and happier life.

If you want to have a personalised diet plan with all food groups and eat well for weight management or optimal health, book a consultation with one of the nutritionists and dietitians of my team in London. Click here to book now.

5 Steps to Lose Weight

There is so much information about weight loss out there that is difficult to know where to start. Well, as a registered dietitian in London, with 15 years of experience in transforming lives and delivering incredible results in healthy weight loss, I present here the top 5 tips for those of you who are eager to embark on your weight loss journey right now! 

1. Peel and Unwrap Wisely:

Choose to eat more real food instead of processed and industrialised products, even those claiming to be “healthy.” These items often contain high amounts of sugar, salt, and hydrogenated fats, which add more calories to your diet and hinder your progress towards your ideal weight.

2. Hydrate Intelligently:

Steer clear of sugary sodas, calorie-laden juices, and alcoholic beverages! Opting to hydrate with water is the best decision for weight loss. Studies indicate that caloric drinks not only add extra pounds but also quickly turn into body fat. Regularly drinking water keeps your body hydrated, preventing the confusion of thirst with hunger, which helps control your appetite.

3. Consume More Vegetables and Choose Whole Foods:

These foods are rich in fibre and will help you feel fuller, avoiding overeating. Moreover, fibre plays a crucial role in maintaining proper bowel function, which is essential for healthy weight loss.

4. Embrace Healthy Proteins and Fats:

Incorporate proteins into every meal, such as lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs, cheeses, and legumes like beans and peas. These foods provide a greater feeling of satiety and contribute to maintaining lean muscle mass, which is vital during the weight loss process. Additionally, don’t underestimate the power of healthy fats found in foods like avocado, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, and almonds. They also enhance satiety and offer essential vitamins and minerals for overall well-being.

5. Abandon Radical Diets and Embrace a Personalised Meal Plan:

Forget about fad diets and internet trends! Each individual has a unique metabolism, making it crucial to follow a personalised meal plan calculated specifically for you. By determining the appropriate daily caloric deficit for your needs, you will achieve true and sustainable results. This way, you won’t have to sacrifice essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your body requires to function at its best.

Remember that every small change makes a significant difference over time. Your success depends on making intelligent choices, committing to yourself, and seeking balance in your journey towards a healthier life.

If you want expert advice and personalised nutrition to help you lose weight, speak to our team and book your consultation with one of our experienced weight loss nutritionists nearby.

Diuretic Green Juice to Reduce Bloating

Makes 1 glass / 84kcal / 3g fibre

Ingredients:

  • 1 cabbage leaf (or other dark green)
  • 1/2 whole lemon without skin, seeds removed and without the white part
  • 1 stalk of celery, cut into pieces
  • 1 apple with skin, seeds removed, cut into pieces
  • 1 handful of mint leaves
  • 1 glass (200 ml) of cold water

Method of preparation:

Blend everything together in a blender, do not strain. Drink immediately.

When to drink:

A simple and easy juice to start the day after a party, holidays, or on those days when you feel more bloated!

Tip:

You can freeze the cleaned ingredients and blend them whenever you want to drink.

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