I love the BBC presenter twins, Xand and Chris Van Tulleken. The shows they work on like, The Doctor who Gave Up Drugs and The Truth About Carbs are right on target for what I'm interested in and they both present in a way that's clear and concise but not patronising - and yes, I might fancy them a little bit, especially when they're in their scrubs....
… or their white coats...
Anyway, I believe that knowledge is power and so if you're keen to find out the truth about carbs but aren't so interested in watching the documentary for aesthetic (read 'housewife eye-candy') reasons, and would rather spend your time watching some trash TV about dating, then here are the top 5 things I 'gleaned' from the show that I think need to be shared;
1) Our body converts the carbs from bagels into more sugar than in a chocolate muffin! I have had a longstanding hatred of bagels - not just because I don't like the taste but because soooo many people still seem to think they are the healthy option. I just don't get it! It's just clever marketing, like 'whole grain' Cheerios that are laced with sugar syrup, and 'tooth kind' Ribena.
There were lots more comparisons on the amount of sugar that comes from the breakdown of various foods. Jacket spuds and white rice scored highly too, sorry peeps.
2) You can reverse Type 2 diabetes through diet alone. I'll say that again. You can REVERSE Type 2 diabetes through diet alone! This is something I have suspected and talked about for a while and will be big news very soon. Hopefully GPs will also soon be on board and start recommending and supporting more dietary changes for those who are overweight, pre diabetic and even those who've been insulin dependent for years. This is AMAZING!
3) While regular bread (even wholemeal and brown) are heavy on the sugar conversion, whole grain breads like rye and sourdough are usually pretty good to eat as they contain a lot of resistant starch which means your body doesn't digest it easily, and although that doesn't sound too good - it is because it means your bloodstream doesn't get hit with a load of sugar all at once. You still get the nourishment - in fact you'll feel fuller for longer, but do check the labels of supermarket rye as they may add more sugar for flavour, so then you might as well eat your bagel.
Your nutrition and overall health before and during pregnancy can alter the genes of your children, pre-disposing them to certain diseases. So pre-conception and pregnancy health is soooooo important - but not just for the mums this time; dads have to step up and start eating better too as thousands of genes may be altered in the sperm if you are obese.
5) Some people's bodies are better at processing carbs than others but essentially the vast majority of people could do with cutting down on their white and beige carbs (sugars and starches) and swapping them for more 'green' carbs like veg, or just subbing them out altogether.
But why? Why are carbs so bad (remember that sugar is a type of carbohydrate). Well in short when your body gets too much carbohydrate in the form of sugar or starch (eg cakes and biscuits, bread and pasta) it will ultimately convert that into fat which, as we know, can lead to a myriad of health problems. It will also send your blood sugar control system up the swanny leading to a myriad of other health problems. And unless you're walking miles to hunt and gather every day like our ancestors did, chances are you're just not getting enough activity to use up the energy you get from your lunchtime sandwich, crisps and banana. Sorry!
The hour long documentary goes into greater detail on each of these topics, and more so do take a look when you get a chance - it's also a great way of sharing the information with people you love who may not be eating well and who may prefer to listen to the advice of a (hot) BBC presenter who they've never met, rather than their nearest and dearest. Know anyone like that?
Personally I've been naturally cutting down on refined carbs for a the last couple of years, purely because I've learned and understood more and more about the impact they have on my body. And, although it wasn't the plan, I am actually probably slimmer now than I was before I had my children, simply because I no longer eat bread, pasta or white rice. Instead I opt for quinoa, salads and sweet potatoes. I have a small amount of brown rice too which is higher in fibre than white and I only really ever eat eggs or porridge for breakfast these days. Of course, I do still enjoy a chocolate muffin but at least I can't pretend to myself that it's healthy, unlike those blimmin' bagels!
Inspiring mums to live well, eat well and move more!