Know the good carbs from the bad
Understanding carbs can help you choose the best for you
Carbs have an unfair reputation as being the cause of putting on weight but they often get a raw deal and it’s more about knowing what carbs you need and what are best avoided if you are trying to maintain or lose weight.
The truth is carbs are vital in your diet, they just need to be the healthy ones. After all, it’s carbohydrates that are one of your main sources of energy and energy is something you need especially as a new mum. Carbs are essential for your brain, nervous system and heart to function properly, as well as fuel your muscles.
When you eat the right carbs you can balance out your sugar levels which helps to prevent those sugar crashes and chocolate cravings later in the day.
Picking the right carbs
Don't over eat high GI starchy carbohydrates
When we talk about starchy carbs we’re talking about pasta, bread, potatoes and rice. They are foods that many of us tend to comfort overeat but it’s the starch in them that we like yet it is also the worst kind of carb so it’s a good idea to control the amount we have and swap to whole-wheat bran or sweet potatoes where possible. Try making a sandwich open-faced on only one slice of wholemeal bread or wheat free bread, swap white rice for brown rice or quinoa as a small side dish (accompanying a lean protein) rather than as your main meal.
Choose low GI carbs
Rather than potatoes, try sweet potato, introduce beetroot, squash and quinoa as a low GI carbohydrate choice and try to limit biscuits, cakes, sweets or ice cream, refined foods (made with white flour) and of course that old favourite, fast food.
Time your carbs
Try to have all your carbs for the day in the mornings and afternoon meals and for your evening meal fill up on protein, vegetables and salads.
Expand your carb repertoire
Try sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat wraps, buckwheat or wheat free wraps, oatmeal and whole grain cereals. Carry on aiming to have low and moderate GI carbohydrates for breakfast, a little at lunch and less at dinner or after 6pm (go for plenty of vegetables, with protein in the evening).