Cutting the carbs is damaging the nation’s health
Confusion over “bad” foods such as bread, potatoes and pasta is putting overweight people off slimming. And, as a result, they stay fat and at risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease and other life-threatening conditions. New year resolutions to lose weight with low-carb diets are also likely to fail because they are unsustainable.
Research found that the diets left slimmers feeling hungry, bored and restricted with options.
The popularity of low-carb diets – which include no bread, rice or pasta – has been fuelled by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston.
As many as 81 per cent told The Big Carb Survey they were left puzzled over whether carbohydrates should be the main source of calories in a balanced diet.
The study found that diets which drop starchy foods are difficult to follow.
Low-carb diets are also likely to fail because they are unsustainable
Balanced diet includes carbs such as bread
Irresponsible Dieters blamed enjoying their carbohydrates too much (52 per cent), often feeling hungry (46 per cent), feeling limited in what they could eat (40 per cent), and finding the diet boring (30 per cent).
But two-thirds have heard that low-carbohydrate diets are better for weight loss, and 35 per cent believe it is impossible to lose weight without cutting carbohydrates.
According to the poll, 30 per cent think “all carbohydrates are bad” and 31 per cent have heard that “carbohydrates aren’t essential for a healthy balanced diet”.
However, there is growing evidence that foods higher in protein and carbohydrates stave off hunger far better than foods high in fat.
In addition, robust scientific evidence from the World Health Organisation, as well as UK and US guidance, shows that carbohydrates should be part of a healthy balanced diet.
35 percent believe it is impossible to lose weight without cutting carbohydrates
Psychologist and author Dr Linda Papadopoulos said: “It’s really important to ensure that the changes you make fit in with your life and values now, so that they’re sustainable.
“Rather than going for a quick fix, make changes you know you can stick with, such as balanced, filling meals which include a variety of foods including carbohydrates.
“Think about the changes you’re making in terms of taking care of your future self.”
Dr Jacquie Lavin, of Slimming World, which commissioned the poll, said: “Obesity not only has an impact on our health but puts a massive strain on our NHS.
“Advising overweight people to follow low-carb diets, which we know are unsustainable and potentially cut out foods essential to a healthy balanced diet, is irresponsible.”
‘I lost 18st without the fads’
Maxine Wren lost more than 18st as she slimmed – all while eating her beloved carbs.
Maxine, 39, had been recommended to have weight-loss surgery after she tipped the scales at 27st 12lb when other diets failed.
Her doctor warned her that if she did not lose weight “she might not be around in 12 months”.
Maxine Wren standing in a leg of her old huge trousers
Mrs Wren, of Chester-le-Street, County Durham, who stands at 5ft 3in and now weighs 9st 10lb, said: “Throughout my adult life I tried slimming clubs, calorie-controlled shakes and fad diets, including low-carb plans, but, sadly, nothing worked.”
She was shocked by the doctor’s warning and joined Slimming World.
“I lost 12lb in my first week, which was a huge surprise,” she said.
“I was convinced I wouldn’t have lost any weight as I’d been eating carbohydrates like pasta and potato with most of my meals – and I hadn’t felt hungry.”
by DR CARL BRANDT, Diabetes Specialist
Those ooking to start 2019 with a health kick should not completely write off carbs.
But they should certainly be looking at where they are coming from. People generally like carbs for their benefits of quickly feeling full and the fact that they are quicker to digest than protein.
In contrast to protein which starts in the stomach, the digestion of carbs starts in the mouth.
However, these short-term wins are offset against longterm negative effects of consuming too many carbs, such as constipation and weight gain.
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There’s also a dependency on the endorphin kick received when eating substantial amounts of “simple” carbs such as sweets and fizzy drinks. But complex carbs with fibres are found in the likes of beans, pulses, vegetables and nuts.
They provide an improved, slower digestion, a general sense of wellbeing and have also been proven to reduce cancer risks.
They should make up a significant portion of the diet for someone looking to lose weight in a sustainable manner.
If given the choice between an egg at breakfast or a glass of orange squash – both of which may contain the same calories – those that eat the egg will feel fuller for longer.
A fibre-rich diet is the holy grail for dieters, made up of high protein and a balance of complex carbs and fat.