In today's world we hear a lot about ditching carbohydrates from our diets. Find out why they're important in part 4 of our blog series.
The truth is carbohydrates are essential to life and achieving our three objectives - body composition, health and performance.
CARBS: Eat some carbohydrate dense foods with most meals
By consuming some starchy carbohydrates at each meal we generally feel more satisfied and more consistent. You should aim for all your starchy carbohydrates to come from whole foods and try to avoid over processed ones. It's ok to have some starchy carbohydrate free meals like a salad, just make sure your intake is not too low for your lifestyle and activity levels.
Typically, the more active you are the more starchy carbohydrates you need to fuel and aid recovery. Do make sure you have starchy carbohydrates post exercise, you will do a much better job at recovering, refilling your energy levels and keep your hormone levels happy.
- women should aim to have one cupped handful of carbohydrate dense foods with most meals
- men should aim to have two cupped handfuls of carbohydrate dense foods with most meals
With this level of intake this would not be deemed as a low carbohydrate diet but a controlled carbohydrate intake. It will be enough to meet your needs, not hamper performance and should not lead to fat gain.
Examples of carbohydrate dense foods:
- Pasta - wholewheat only
- Rice - wholegrain ideally
- Whole oats
- Potatoes and sweet potatoes
- Legumes, beans, lentils