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carbohydrates

If Hollywood is to be believed, carbohydrates are the devil of the food pyramid.

And while the vast majority of nutritionists are at pains to stress the importance of a balanced diet (one which includes carbs), many of us still eye the bread aisle with an air of suspicion.

However, it appears a group of researchers from Lubeck University in Germany have discovered a wonderful reason to load up on carbohydrates at breakfast, and if you're of an indecisive nature, you may want to listen up.

According to their findings, individuals who eat a carb-rich breakfast are more likely to make good decisions in comparison to those who opt for a protein-based breakfast.

After recruiting participants, researchers made note of the breakfast they had consumed that day, and then asked them to take part in a computer game called Ultimatum.

Ultimatum allows players to offer fellow players a part share of their money, however the individual offering the cash will always end up with more than the intended recipient.

Players offered the deal could either accept the unfair amount and keep the money or reject it and receive nothing, and researchers soon established that those who ate a carb-rich breakfast were more likely to reject the unfair offer.

In fact, 53 per cent of the high carb breakfast group rejected the unfair offer compared to just 24 of the participants who ate otherwise.

Speaking of the study, which was published in the journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said: "Our results shed new light on the striking relevance of food intake."

Investigating the hypothesis further still, researchers then provided participants with a controlled breakfast.

One breakfast contained 80 per cent carbs, 10 per cent fats and 10 per cent protein while the second contained 50 per cent carbs and 25 per cent of fats and protein. Both breakfast came in at 850 calories each.

Researchers again confirmed that those who were provided with the carb-heavy breakfast made better decisions, with 69 per cent declining the poor offer in Ultimatum in comparison to 60 per cent in the other group.

“This opens new perspectives on problems, such as antisocial behaviour as well as the global problem of poor nutrition. The latter may not only have negative consequences on physical health but also on social decisions," researchers concluded.

“With that background, popular diets – as for example low-carb diets – might be treated with caution."

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Over the past few years an increasing number of so-called dieting experts have preached the banning of carbohydrates as a means of losing weight.

But unfortunately for those of us whose willpower can at times be a little lax, dodging an entire – and terribly delicious – food group can quickly become a major struggle.

Thankfully a number of women have come forward in recent months to share their carb positive body transformation stories, and if Madalin Frodsham’s bikini pics are anything to go by, we’ve a feeling carbohydrates aren’t as detrimental to dieters as many would have you believe.

After growing sick of constantly having to count calories, the 27-year-old Australian sought the help of a nutrition coach who advised her to up the volume of carbs in her diet by a massive 45 percent.

Admittedly, this news didn't exactly send Madalin straight into the arms of a bread, pasta and chip-filled love fest, but in order to reach her body transformation goals she did increase the levels of complex carbohydrates in her diet.

 

I was chatting with my good friend  @gracemaeslay about fitness the other day. She's super fit and runs her own Beyoncé style dance classes (I know, epic!) and she was like "yup I'm doing to do Kayla now!" I think she knows that if I can do it, she can most definitely do it because she knows I was the most unfit person alive!  Anyway, she did the first circuit and messaged me basically dying  I didn't have much words of encouragement… Haha basically said it gets worse before it gets better! But she's so freaking determined and was like "you know what I tell myself? It's only 30 minutes."  I couldn't agree with her more! When I first started I'd lay in bed for half an hour coming up with excuses to not do it. I've now learnt to not even question it, wake up, lace up and go #gogetitgurl Leggings and crop: @publicmyth

A photo posted by Madalin Giorgetta (@madalingiorgetta) on

Complex carbs are those which are made up of long chains of sugar molecules and include wholemeal grains, legumes and everyone’s favourite sweet potatoes.

According to the Daily Mail Australia, eating more carbohydrates while keeping track of her macronutrient intake – the levels of carbs, protein and fats in the diet – allowed Ms Frodsham to increase her body’s muscle definition without changing her exercise regime or weight.

Interestingly this process also allowed Madalin to up her calorie intake from 800 calories per day to 1,800.

So, what’s Madalin’s advice to those avoiding these nutritious delights?  Well obviously: Carb it up!

“Don’t do what I did for so long,” she said.  “Don’t waste your time eating salad when you could be eating sweet potatoes and banana pancakes.”

Madalin, we really like your style!

 

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Out of the thousands of diets and food crazes that we hear about, most of them generally have one thing in common: no bread.

There is no doubt that cutting out the King of Carbs is going to help with a huge range of dietary issues. But eliminating an entire food group, as well as one of our biggest energy sources, is bound to have a noticeable impact on our bodies.

Let’s look at what exactly happens when we eliminate bread from our diets.

Rapid Weight Loss

One of the first things you may notice if you completely cut out carbs from your diet is how quickly you begin to lose weight. But what may surprise you is that it’s not actually fat you are losing but water. According to womenshealthmag.com every gram of carbohydrate that is stored in the body holds three to four times its weight in water. So if you cut out carbs altogether, a lot of water weight should drop off quickly.

You can catch… the flu?

Cutting carbs out of your diet is a huge change for your metabolism. An unpleasant common symptom of cutting bread totally out of your diet is the “low-carb flu”. This happens when your body starts adjusting to the change of getting its energy from fats instead of carbs. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, bad breath, and brain fog. The good news is that it doesn’t last. Soon your body will start to run on fats in a process called ketosis.

The risk of heart disease fluctuates

This depends on what type of grains you cut out of your diet. According to Plos One, refined carbohydrates can increase the risk of heart disease. Whereas the American Heart Association says that whole grains can improve blood-cholesterol levels and lower the risks of many illnesses including heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Your cravings will start to disappear

Thankfully cutting out white bread will help with your cravings for… white bread! Refined carbohydrates make your blood-sugar levels skyrocket only for them to plummet back down. A study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition alleged that this activity can start up our addictive centres in the brain. Choosing fibre-rich whole grains can help to keep the blood-sugars from crashing back down.

Constipation can unfortunately occur

Whole-grains are one of our biggest fibre supplies so cutting out brown bread and whole-grains in general will make constipation more likely. As well as keeping your bowels running smoothly, fibre helps to keep blood-sugar levels consistent and reduces the risk of obesity. Alternative sources of fibre include lentils, beans, avocado, edamame and brown rice.

Energy levels can drop

As carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy, cutting them out will most likely see a drop in energy levels. This will make exercising more difficult as you may feel fatigued. To combat this it is important to make sure that you get enough fat in your diet to replace the loss of carbs and to stay totally hydrated by drinking loads of water. 

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Constant research has shown that having a low or non carb diet, can not only make it harder to lose weight but also causes long term health problems.

Filling

Ensure your meals contain at least some portions that are high in fibre. Not only will this help with digesting foods, will keep you fuller for longer and prevent you from snacking on bad foods.

Long term benefits

Studies have proven again and again, that adults who eat a diet high in fibre decrease their chances of getting heart disease and even colon cancer. So, eating more plant based carbohydrates can have great long term affects too.

Good carbs vs. bad carbs

Bad carbohydrates are foods that have been refined by removing all the nutrients from the grain e.g. white rice, white bread. While good carbs are full of fibre. They have not been processed and can be slowly digested into our system e.g. brown rice, fruits, vegetables, beans.

But most importantly, it’s all about moderation and having some good carbs can go a long way to a healthier diet and lifestyle.

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