Recently I travelled to Ghana, I explored the country and all it had to offer, which, food-wise, turns out to be a lot of carbohydrates.
Africa relies on these heavy carbs to give people energy as they’re slow releasing. Whilst many of us are quick to kick this food group out of our diet, they actually have a lot of benefits. As long as you eat the good ones. There are many health benefits to eating carbs including increased energy levels, but the opposite can be said for bad carbs.
To be considered a ‘good carbohydrate’ the food must have the following; high fibre, natural sugar, low insulin levels, slow digestion for prolonged energy and keep you fuller for longer to help with weight loss.
So what carbs are good? Fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, pure oats, pumpkin, chai and sunflower seeds, sweet and normal potatoes, walnuts, peanuts, almonds and hazelnuts.
On the other side of course we have the ‘bad carbohydrates’ these have low fibre levels, are refined or process, encourage faster digestion so hunger levels increase and energy levels decrease, they have added sugars and high insulin levels and convert carbs to fat which cause weight gain.
So what should you stay away from? Fruit juices, fizzy drinks, cookies, pastries, cakes, white bread, white crackers, regular pasta, chocolates, ice cream or frozen yogurt, crisps and chips.
No major surprises with the bad ones, but there is a wide selection of good carbs, all of which you can easily add into your diet in place of bad carbs.