There is a lot of confusion around carbohydrates and unfortunately they have gotten a bad rep due to all the low carb fad diets and the misconception that carbs are fattening! It is important to know the difference between good carbs and bad carbs but equally important to include the good carbohydrates in your diet!
Glucose and glycogen (stored form of glucose in the body) provide half of the body's energy needs and fat mostly makes up the other half of energy source. Carbohydrates from plant foods provide the body with glucose for energy.
Bad carbs contain the simple carbohydrates (or simple sugars) these include all processed forms of sugar such as lollies, chocolate, soft drinks, cakes, biscuits, processed cereals, white bread etc. These are all examples of what you should be avoiding to promote overall health, prevent weight gain and prevent diseases such as diabetes and cancer.
Good carbs include complex carbohydrates or polysaccharides (fibre & starches) and are essential to our health as they are made up of many glucose molecules which is a crucial energy source for the body cells, muscles and particularly the brain. Fibre from complex carbohydrates keeps your digestion healthy and regular and actually assists with weight loss! Complex carbohydrates include whole grains (rice, oats, buckwheat, quinoa, barley, millet & tapioca), fruit, vegetables and legumes.
According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines 70% of our food intake should be from complex carbohydrates. There are many ways to ensure you are getting enough and you can start with breakfast!