In recent years the reputation of carbohydrates has swung wildly, they’ve been touted as the feared food in fad diets and often people shun them all together in order to lose their desired weight.
But the reality is, having a healthy body means a healthy diet that is balanced and includes a little bit of food from every group, protein, fats and carbohydrates.
There's consistently new diets, new studies and new research which suggests the types of foods we should be eating and cutting out, but the reality is there is no hero or villain when it comes to our health.
Carbohydrates stand out as a food group that consistently has a bad reputation, and if people are looking to lose weight, this is often the first thing to be cut from their diet.
But in reality, this isn't particularly good for our health.
We know that a healthy, balanced diet is the key to a healthy body, but it can be tough knowing exactly which foods are the healthiest for us, with the constant barrage of new studies and research branding certain foods as either hero or villain when it comes to our health.
Dr Sally Norton, UK leading health expert and founder of www.vavista.com explains that eating lots of refined carbs isn't good for is, and cutting back on these types of foods can be a good thing for our health and waistline. But carbohydrates are one of the body's main sources of fuel, they help us feel full, are packed with fibre and have plenty of nutrients too.
It's important to remember, however, that we eat the right kind of carbohydrates and fuel our bodies with vegetables which are a great source of carbohydrates and whole grains too.
Dr Norton reveals that a study she recently read stated that 80% of us don't eat enough whole grains, and a fifth surprisingly don't eat any at all. But these findings don't surprise her because carbs have been demonised for so long in the media, and lots of people choose starch-filled white carbs instead.
The healthiest options
When it comes to eating carbohydrates there are better options you can make, rather than reaching for white bread and white rice, which are processed and usually stripped of fibre. Instead choose options like whole grains, beans and vegetables which are packed with fibre and don't cause a spike in our blood sugar levels. They get absorbed slowly into our systems and we reap the nutritional benefits.
Why whole grains are the best choice
When grains are processed to make refined carbohydrates, it typically removes the healthy minerals, fibre, B vitamins, protein and more. In fact, refining them means you lose at least 17 key nutrients.
There are some cases were vitamins and minerals will be added back to enrich the refined grains. But in reality, eating whole grains is the best choice for your health because they keep the maximum nutrients.
Refined, white carbs are more likely to have sugar and fat in them, plus they won't fill you up as much, so you're going to need more to feel full. Whole grains, however, are packed with fibre so they'll keep you fuller for longer.
What's more, studies have shown that whole grains are packed with plenty of benefits, they can help reduce your cholesterol levels and BMI, as well as cutting your risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some types of cancers too.
How much should you be eating?
It is recommended that an adult eats around 48g of whole grains each day.