Pro-carbohydrate, no carbohydrate or what carbohydrate? There are different attitudes in public opinion about ‘carbs’. Whether it’s the health conscious or the fad dieters, carbohydrates are subject to numerous theories, myths and misunderstanding in the public eye.

These myths have now been exposed by new and surprising information on carbohydrates that was presented by leading Australian nutrition experts at a symposium this week: ‘Carbohydrate intakes – high, low or irrelevant?’

  • Low carb diets may lead to weight loss in the short term but a shorter lifespan in the long term, probably because a low carbohydrate diet is often high in unhealthy saturated fats. (Prof Peter Williams).
  • Very low carbohydrate diets can have negative effects cognitive (mental) functions and blood flow. (Prof Manny Noakes)
  • The sugar content of breakfast cereal is not related to the kilojoule count, the vitamin and mineral content or the glycaemic index (GI) of the breakfast cereal – so reducing the sugar content does not change these nutritional aspects and it is not a good indicator of food quality. This is because the sugar usually needs to be replaced with starch, another carbohydrate. (Mr Bill Shrapnel)
  • Eating a gluten free or low FODMAP diet over the long term is not recommended unless is medically essential as the diets reduce the ‘good bugs’ in the bowel that promote bowel health.(Dr Jane Muir)
  • There is some evidence that eating wholegrain carbohydrate foods is associated with abdominal fat loss. (Presenter: Prof Manny Noakes)

So before you form an opinion on carbohydrates, it is important to check the facts and recognise the importance of a healthy balanced diet in which carbohydrates are an essential ingredient.

For more information contact:

Leigh Reeve

See also:

The conference was hosted by the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council (GLNC) and the International Life Sciences Institute SEAR Australasia Inc. The AFGC is an Associate member of the GLNC and GLNC is an Affiliate Member of AFGC.

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