What about carbs?

All starches, all sugars (including natural sugar in fruit, milk, and some vegetables) and all fibre are carbs.

Carbs in sugars and starches are a quick energy source, as they’re rapidly converted into glucose that we can use immediately for energy. But if we’re not using that fuel in the next couple of hours, it gets easily stored, mostly in the form of body fat. The more carbs we eat in one sitting, the more likely we’ll be storing body fat from that meal or snack.

Some high-carb foods are healthy in the right amount. These are the ‘whole foods’ – plants in pretty much their natural state, including pulses (dried peas and beans), fruit, starchy vegetables and whole grains. They’re naturally rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre, and may include some protein and a little fat.

On the other hand, foods high in processed, refined carbs (including sugar and flour) offer almost no other nutrients, just ‘empty’ calories. They’re poor quality, and essentially a waste of space.

Processed carbs are also often prepared in a way that makes us more likely to crave them: as sugar or starch laced with fat and flavourings. These are the red zone carbs, and they include danger zone food. These types of carbs are implicated in addictive-like eating behaviours and cravings, and are a major cause of over-eating, overweight, and the diseases and metabolic disorders that go with those.

Eat natural, not processed, especially when it comes to carbs.