Confusing isn’t it?The trouble with restrictive diets is that they work for a while then they start to change the healthy balance of the microbiome that lives in your digestive system. This is a good reason why any restrictive diet should only be undertaken with professional guidance. And for some, health reasons such as coeliac disease or Diabetes, mean that they have no option than to be on a restrictive diet.
What is healthy eating about?A healthy diet is simple; rich in whole foods that naturally promote your body's preferred alkaline level and include the daily recommended intake of protein, fats and carbohydrates; 5 servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit.
What are carbohydrates?Carbohydrates have been given mixed reviews over the last couple of years in the media. So it’s important to understand that there are both healthy and unhealthy forms of carbohydrates. Good quality carbohydrates are our energy source. We associate energy with feeling good and physical energy. They are also important to support healthy body functions. The Australian Government Eating Healthy Guidelines recommend that the diet should include 45-65% carbohydrates.
Which carbohydrates should you eat?Healthy carbohydrates include unprocessed and minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruit and beans. These carbohydrates are high in necessary fibre and generally have a lower Glycaemic Index than processed carbohydrates. They are also high in essential nutrients such are vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients such as antioxidants. Carbohydrates to be avoided, include highly processed and refined foods, white bread, pasta and soft drinks. These foods contain carbohydrates that are all too easily digested. The problem is this helps to promote diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and contributes to weight gain and can even interfere with weight loss. These carbohydrates are typically the ones being signalled out when eating carbohydrates becomes a hot media topic. Although they are often a useful source of fuel for athletes they should be avoided or eaten in limited amounts.
How do carbohydrates improve your digestive health?Healthy choices of carbohydrates are generally loaded with dietary fibre. A high intake of dietary fibre encourages better gut health and has the added health benefits of:
- Promoting lower body weight and can help improve satiety
- Providing pre-biotics (which encourage better gastrointestinal microflora)
- Promoting regular bowel habits
- Reducing cardiovascular disease
- Reducing Type II diabetes
- Cancer preventing
- Reducing inflammation
- Improving immunity
- Improving absorption of dietary nutrients