This Morning: Dr Zoe discusses carbohydrates in your diet
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This Morning was looking into low-carb and carbohydrate-free diets today. Presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby were joined by Dr Zoe Williams who discussed the number of carbohydrates that can be found in common foods – one of which is the popular breakfast cereal that is cornflakes. So for anyone looking to lose weight, one way in which this can be done is through diet changes and swapping “refined carbohydrates” to wholegrains, starting with breakfast.
Dr Zoe began by discussing carb-free diets: “When it comes to lowering carbs or trying to cut out carbs completely, we’ve seen there are three million people [who] have tried it and for most people, they’re not able to keep it up, they’re not able to sustain it.
“There is, however, a community of people – the low-carbers – who rather than a diet, they’ve made it their lifestyle.
“[And] for long term, they’ve made a commitment to significantly reduce the number of carbs they eat for the rest of their lives, [and] that can be a really helpful thing to do for your health, particularly if you’re somebody who is at risk of, or has type 2 diabetes.
“There’s no right, there’s no wrong, it really depends who you are.”
As for what carbs are, Dr Zoe explained: “Carbohydrates are one of the three main macronutrients or three main food groups for where we get our energy from – along with proteins and fats.
“Not all carbohydrates are the same, you’ve got three types;
“Sugars – which we know a lot of refined sugars are not good for us and we should try and reduce those.
“Starches – things we know like potatoes and bread.
“Fibre – which is really good for us, lowers cholesterol and risk of bowel disease,” she added.
On the table in front of them, were bowls with several common foods in.
Dr Zoe said: “All of these foods [in front of you] contain carbohydrates – significant amounts of carbohydrates.
“Some more than others, I’m going to ask you which three out of those foods there have the highest proportion of carbs – highest grams of carbs per 100 grams.
“When you think about carbohydrates – table sugar is a carbohydrate, it’s not good for you.
“But things like quinoa and lentils are highly nutritious and very good for you and have lots of health benefits are also a carbohydrate.”
She then asked Phillip and Holly which three foods did they think had the highest amount of carbohydrates in.
Phillip replied: “My three, I’m going to go for the raisins, white bread and the controversial one the blueberries.”
Holly said: “I’m going to go for the nuts, I don’t want to go carrots, but I’m going to go carrots because I’m surprised they’re there. But I think Phil’s right, these raisins are bad.”
Dr Zoe revealed: “Well all fruits and vegetables contain some carbs.
“Berries are very low in carbohydrates, so they’re the low carbs on the table.
“Root vegetables contain quite high amounts of carbohydrates, but the highest three on the table are cornflakes, raisins and white bread.
“Raisins are a dried fruit, because it’s condensed down there’s a lot of carbohydrates but also a lot of nourishment.”
“Cornflakes!” Phillip exclaimed. “If you start your day with cornflakes and you’re starting with an incredibly high carbohydrate diet.”
The TV doctor revealed: “84g per 100g, so the cornflakes are 85 percent almost of carbohydrates. [Whereas] blueberries are 10 percent, they’re 10g per 100g.”
As for what Dr Zoe’s advice was, she said: “You can live a low-carb lifestyle and that does have benefits for some people, but one shift I think people can think about making is switching from refined carbs to wholegrains.
“If we use bread as an example, having brown bread instead of white bread, brown rice rather than white rice.”
She also went on to say: “I think, there’s a huge group of people who are yo-yo dieters, and for a lot of people, actually stopping dieting might be the best thing might be the best thing you can do for your health.
“We know, if you’ve been on a diet for many years of your life, and you lose a bit of weight, then you regain it, regain a bit more, it can be a bit damaging to your health doing the dieting.
“It can mean you develop a poor relationship with food and a really poor relationship with yourself.
“If you’re trying to lose the weight for health reasons, there are so many other approaches that you can take; increasing nutrition in the food you eat, being more active – not active to lose weight but active for all of the other positive benefits, sleeping better, reduce stress levels,” Dr Zoe added.
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