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If you see carbs as the enemy, it’s time to read up on the facts. Not only do they fuel our bodies, but certain types may help us lose weight



WE ALL KNOW THAT CAKES, biscuits and white bread are high in carbs. So, too, are chips, crisps and pastries. If you find these foods are derailing your good health intentions, it seems logical to think drastically cutting back on carbs might be the sensible solution.

Going low carb has gone from being a diet fad to a mainstream lifestyle choice, taking over from eating low fat or counting calories as the fashionable way to lose weight. Diets such as Atkins first popularised this, but today it’s social media that stokes the low-carb fire. ‘Health’ bloggers rave about clean eating and ditching wheat and sugar, hailing low–or-no– carb eating as the key to burning fat and shedding lbs fast. At the time of writing, #lowcarb has been used over five million times on Instagram alone.

So are they right – should we see carbohydrates as the devil in our diet? It’s time to get back to the nutrition basics.

What are carbohydrates?

THEY’RE ONE OF THE THREE main or ‘macro’ (ie, needed in large amounts) nutrients in our diet, the others being protein and fat. ‘Hardly any foods contain just one macronutrient, and most contain a combination of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in varying amounts. Your body needs all three to function properly,’ explains HFG dietitian Jennifer Low.

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About Healthy Food Guide

You can eat carbs! Our dietitian discusses how good carbs can help with your weight loss and energy levels. We find out how one reader reversed his type 2 diabetes through diet, and get an expert update on clean eating and the processed foods you SHOULD be eating. Plus, our food psychologist reveals how you can take control of your willpower and say no to office cake. All this plus 30 calorie–counted recipes in the March issue of Healthy Food Guide.