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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > August 2018 > HOW TO LOVE CARBS (& still lose weight)

HOW TO LOVE CARBS (& still lose weight)

Yes, the wrong sort in gigantic portions can wreck our waistlines and our health. But putting healthy carbs back on the menu can help you feel energised and shift pounds. Our experts explain how


Atkins, Dukan, South Beach… These legendary low-carb diets feel so last century, yet they’ve left a lasting legacy that carbs are BAD for you. So bad that we don’t eat the bread at the restaurant and give sarnies and spuds the heave-ho for a flat holiday tummy.

HFG editor Melanie Leyshon discovered the perils of the hardcore no-carbs approach. ‘I remember having a particularly shaky five minutes in the city years ago when I tried the South Beach for a week,’ she recalls. And as soon as one low-carb diet falls out of favour for being unsustainable, another champion pops up. Right now, it’s reduced-carb crusader Joe Wicks. His Instagram account has an eye-boggling gallery of flabby befores and super-ab afters to entice even more dieters. There’s a lot that’s right about his diet plan (he includes plenty of veg, which contain low levels of carbs, and lean meat and fish), but many dietitians question his liberal use of high-saturated fats, such as coconut oil and butter, in place of a healthy serving of… you guessed it, starchy carbs.

There may be a case for low-carb diets being used short-term for certain health conditions. Early evidence shows that following a strictly controlled, 800-calorie-a-day, low-carb plan for six weeks has helped some people put their type 2 diabetes into remission.

In the long term, however, cutting out a whole food group such as starchy carbs is not realistic. Once you stop eating that way (because you’re craving carbs or fancy a well balanced meal), there’s a real risk of going too far the other way and overindulging in sugar-rich carbs because you’ve broken the rules, feel let off the leash and then can’t stop.

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About Healthy Food Guide

We put the record straight on carbs (yes, you can and should eat them if you want to lose weight) - with our expert guide on choosing the right types and making clever swaps. We've also got everything you need for a healthy holiday, from time-saving beauty hacks to help you look and feel great while you're away to a rundown of the healthcare apps to trust. And our easy, light, delicious recipes will help you make the most of those warm summer evenings with friends…