Disqus for Where Are My Knees

#mybestsandwich - Carbs

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

"Carbs" has become a dirty word in recent times, especially in the weight loss world and the phrase 'No carbs before Marbs' comes to mind when I think about them. Plans like Atkins have led people to cut them out from their diets all together but not all carbs are the same and it is the type and quantity of carbohydrate in our diet that is important. Fibre, found in wholegrain versions of starchy carbs is good for our health. A survey conducted by YouGov revealed that almost half (49 per cent) of British women aged 18 to 35 who have been on a diet are cutting carbs, with a third (33 per cent) ditching bread in the last year.

Let's dispel some carbs myths...

Will carbs make my gain weight?

Consuming more calories than we need is what makes us gain weight rather than where they come from. Carbs can be useful and if we choose wholegrain ones which contain plenty of fibre they help us to feel fuller for longer. But beware processed carbs including sugary cereals, rice and pasta because they are stripped of vitamins, minerals and fibre so are less satisfying than wholegrain varieties. But they are way too tasty to cut out all together though right? ;)

Why do we need carbs? 

In a healthy balanced diet they are the body’s main source of energy. High fibre, starchy carbs release sugar into the blood more slowly than sugary foods and drinks. Vegetables, pulses, wholegrain varieties of starchy foods, and potatoes eaten with their skins on are all good sources of fibre. Fibre is an important part of a healthy balanced diet. It can promote good bowel health, reduce the risk of constipation, and some forms of fibre have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. 

Cutting out carbs means that you may miss out on essential vitamins and fibre, calcium and iron. A low carbohydrate diet can be accompanied by headaches, weakness and irritability in the short term so there's no harm in treating yourself to your favourite sandwich from time to time. 

My favourite sandwich has to be the classic BLT. You can't deviate from the five classic ingredients: bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, and bread. I like to use some low fat mayo and I either trim some of the fat from the bacon or I use bacon medallions which are pretty lean. Yum!

Remember, before you embark on any new diet or fitness regimen:

• Carbohydrates help you to feel fuller for longer, making you less likely to snack on the unhealthy things and providing a great source of fuel before or after a workout
• Bread is low fat, low sugar and around 80 calories a slice, so if you’re watching your weight you can fit it easily to your health plan
• White bread is a good source of non-dairy calcium as white bread is fortified with calcium
• There is no singular dietary cause of bloating; low stress, eating a well-balanced diet containing fibre & drinking enough water can help

If you want to find out more about carbs, how they relate to your health or try some bread recipes head to http://fabflour.co.uk/fab-bread/

*post is written in association with the Federation of Bakers and the Flour Advisory Bureau.


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