For decades, I feared carbs. Oh and fats, and indulging and basically all the food groups at once stage. If you know my story, you’ll know that I developed a pretty toxic relationship with food and my body. I feared foods. I felt huge amounts of fear and anxiety around foods, especially carbohydrates.
After studying health and nutrition for five years, my respect and love for good quality carbs grew back. I started slowing adding them back into my diet (the good kinds of carbs) and starting to feel good.
See carbs are around for a reason; they are a macronutrient for a reason. Our bodies need them, thrive off them and they give our bodies and brains energy! However, most carbs contain gluten, which can be a problem! Think pasta, cereal, bread, crackers and pizza.
When I was in my nutrition practice, I did find that reducing gluten from people’s diets really did help them repair their guts and increase overall energy! I believe in having good-quality grains in our diet. However, I do often encourage gluten-free grains and starches such as quinoa, rice, beans, legumes, sweet potato, pumpkin, beetroot, buckwheat etc. I have found people do better on these foods – as they are easier to digest.
But I do believe in eating everything moderately. I don’t like telling people to drastically cut anything out because this does not help people to have a healthy relationship with food. Just because I say to reduce gluten where possible, does not mean I mean to forbid it from your diet 100% and forever (unless you just feel that much better without it).
I love having a piece of rye or sourdough toast on the weekends. But it is so important to tune into your body and figure out which foods make you feel good and which foods don’t make you feel good.
I am very in tune with my body and I know that gluten-containing foods can make me feel tired, so I do enjoy a low-gluten diet. Those days I do eat gluten, I am definitely more tired.
The most important aspect of grains is the fibre content and the fact that they contain B vitamins and other essential nutrients. I have found that people on these low carb diets don’t realise that are missing out on a key macronutrient called fibre. Fibre is essential for a healthy life – helps to keep us regular as we know. But it also assists with hormonal balance by binding to excess hormones in the gut. It is also amazing for general cleansing as it binds to excess toxins in the intestines and sweeps them out via our faeces. Fibre also helps to keep us full and satiated as it slows down the release of sugar in the blood – which reduces sugar drops/energy drops.
Carbs are also essential for thyroid health. People on a lower carb diet seem to strain the thyroid gland!
If you do not eat many whole grains, it may be best to invest in a B complex vitamin under the guidance of a health practitioner. B vitamins are essential for energy, mood, sleep, stress support, thyroid health and overall health. Otherwise enjoy your gluten-free grains and starchy veggies as alternatives to cereal, pasta, pizza, bread and crackers.