It’s difficult to avoid the subject of healthy eating in January, as many people vow to lose weight and get into shape, whilst the shops are stocked with the latest diet books and fitness DVDs. Short-term diets however usually prove to be ineffective, which is why vowing to eat a healthier, more balanced diet could be the most effective way of maintaining your weight. Many of those in the health and fitness industry recommend a diet containing ‘slow carbs’, foods which break glucose down slower than other carbohydrates, for a slower energy release. With many benefits for a healthier diet, it may be time to give slow carbs a try.
1. A slower energy release keeps you going for longer
Many of us will tuck into a carb-filled snack to boost our energy levels, but we often find that the energy release is over quickly, leaving us feeling sluggish afterwards. Slow carbs, also known as ‘low-glycaemic-level’ foods, or GI foods, are so-called because they release energy more slowly and steadily over a longer period. This is why a good breakfast, rich in protein and slow carbohydrates will keep you fuller for longer and stop the mid-morning snacking.
2. Many slow carbs are also rich in fibre
When trying to lose weight, many people will cut down on carbs or cut them out altogether, but by doing so, they miss out on other key nutritional benefits which are contained in these foods. Many slow carb foods such as vegetables and fruit, wholegrain pasta, bread and rice are packed with fibre which can not only help your digestive system, but also help to keep cholesterol levels low.
3.Help to boost disease prevention
Some studies have shown that low GI foods can help to prevent diseases such as heart disease Type 2 diabetes and breast cancer. A low GI diet tends to be rich in fruit and vegetables which offer antioxidants and vitamins which help to protect against diseases, whilst it also means you are less likely to be eating processed foods which are high in sugar, salt and fat.
4.It can help people to manage conditions like diabetes
A low GI diet is often recommended for those who suffer from diabetes in order to help them manage the glucose levels in their blood. There are many easy swaps that can be made such as white potato for sweet potato, white pasta for brown pasta and white bread for seeded or rye bread.
5.Slow carbs improve your mood
If you ever feel sluggish, grumpy and irritable – it could be to do with what you’re eating. As regular carbohydrates tend to provide a quick release of energy, when the energy decreases your serotonin levels, which are contributors to your mood, dip too. Therefore a diet of slow releasing carbohydrates can stop your mood from peaking and keep you feeling balanced throughout the day, without the need for a ‘pick-me up’ snack.
Whilst the research around slow carb diets is varied, there are certainly plenty of proven health benefits for choosing slow carb foods over others and over cutting carbs out altogether. To help you establish the best diet for your health, the NHS Live Well website has put together its top diets for 2016 to help you enjoy a healthier lifestyle, without jumping on the latest fad bandwagon.