Think carbohydrates are the enemy? You’ve not met the new class of super-carb which promises anti-ageing benefits, weight loss and better health, says Jayney Goddard
There’s so much confusion around carbohydrates these days. Some experts tell us to avoid them and follow an Atkins-type of programme while others advise us to ‘carb up’, and both sides of the argument are equally compelling – at first glance.
However, all carbohydrates are not created equal, and my general rule of thumb is to try to make life as easy as possible by simplifying things. We are all so busy that we need quick and effective nutrition and lifestyle solutions that really work.
My position on the debate is that carbs are not the evil things that they are made out to be – if you are eating the right type.
We all know that refined, processed sugars are lethal for our health and looks. In fact, it is one of the most devastatingly ageing things we can have. Eating simple, refined sugars dramatically promotes the formation of advanced glycation end-products – appropriately called AGEs. These molecules make us age rapidly by causing proteins in our bodies, such as the collagen we need for structure, to stiffen. This causes untold damage to us internally as it compromises many of our organs’ ability to function and even leads to their total failure. AGEs also affect our skin – causing it to wrinkle as the collagen stiffens, breaks and collapses. So simple, processed, refined carbohydrates – such as sugar – must be avoided. Conversely, complex carbohydrates found in their natural state in plant-based whole foods have huge benefits in that they are wrapped up in hugely beneficial phyto-chemicals (including vitamins and minerals) that are intensely health-enhancing.