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carbs

We've heard it time and time again.

Thanks to various diets such as Atkins and Paleo, it has become more and more common to hear your mate say, 'I'm cutting out ALL carbs this week' when she wants to lose a few inches.

Of course, most people give up within a few days (or hours) because bread and pasta… glorious.

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However, a new study has revealed that pasta isn't that bad, and can actually help you along the way to becoming a healthier person.

Department of Epidemiology at the Institute for Research, Hospitalization, and Health Care in Italy analysed the eating habits of 23,000 people.

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Out of all the participants, they found that those who ate pasta regularly had a reduced likelihood of being obese.

"Our data shows that enjoying pasta according to individuals' needs contributes to a healthy body mass index, lower waist circumference, and better waist-hip ratio," George Pounis, the author of the study wrote.

pasta

Taking a line from the Mediterranean diet, which has been proved to be one of the healthiest, pasta is a "fundamental" part and cutting it out to lose weight is not the "correct attitude."

Well, pass the Carbonara then.

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How many times have you heard someone say, "sorry I can't, I'm on a low carb diet." – cue a serious eye-roll.

Hands up for the many times you've heard a family member, friend or co-worker say they're following an Atkins or Keto diet.

There is no denying that cutting carbs is a popular way to lose weight and to be fair, the majority of us have given it a go.

However, new research has provided us a reason to embrace the bagel, because scientists have found cutting carbs is shortening our lives.

Yes, you're miserable and you're actually doing more harm than good by avoiding your mum's potatoes.

The study published in the Lancet Public Health journal investigated the link between carbohydrate intake and mortality.

The research followed 15,400 Americans over 25 years and showed that a moderate cut in carbohydrates is much healthier than a dramatic one. 

The scientists collected data from participants' questionnaires which included portion size, and the food and drink they consumed. 

They then went onto estimate how many calories each person obtained from carbs, protein and fat.

However, before you raid the bread bin, moderation is key.

The study suggests that a diet both high and low in carbohydrates are associated with increased mortality.

Those who ate a moderate amount, which means 50–55 percent of their diet came from carbs, lived longer than those who followed high and low carb diets.

Scientists predicted that those in the moderate group had an extra four years of life on those who adopted an extra low-carb diet (less than 30 percent of their energy came from carbs.)

Compared to the low-carb group, moderate carb eaters were expected to enjoy a further 2.3 years of living (30-40 percent coming from carbs.)

And, as for the high-carb bunnies – those who got 65 percent or more of their energy from carbs, would live 1.1 years less than the moderate group. 

It's time to bin the Atkins book – the study also showed that plant-based protein and fat is a healthier swap for carbs, than animal-based products.

Their findings discovered that the risk of death increased when carbs were exchanged for "animal-derived fat or protein" and the risk decreased when it was substituted with plant-based foods. 

Leading the research, Dr Sara Seidelmann, clinical and research fellow in cardiovascular medicine from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, told the BBC:

"Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight-loss strategy.

"However, our data suggests that animal-based low carbohydrate diets, which are prevalent in North America and Europe, might be associated with shorter overall life span and should be discouraged.

"Instead, if one chooses to follow a low carbohydrate diet, then exchanging carbohydrates for more plant-based fats and proteins might actually promote healthy ageing in the long term."

If this research is anything to go by, carbs are your friend and not your enemy.

Moderation and balance diets seem to always rule out.

However, if you are changing up your diet – make sure you talk to your doctor before you do.

Now I'm off to indulge in some pasta!

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It's a common opinion that white bread is less healthy than brown, wholemeal, or sour dough, and one team of scientists decided to test the throry. 

Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science assessed the nutritional levels in a group of test patients, to see exactly what the difference is between white bread and brown.

The results? They found it made pretty much no difference to their health. 

The carb connoisseurs decided to test whether or not white bread actually had a significantly lower nutritional value than brown in a human diet.

To do so, they split 20 volunteers into two groups and asked half to eat whole-wheat sourdough for a week, while the others had white bread.

They then switched for a second week, so each group had one week on white and one week on fancy sour dough. 

The researchers then tested a number of markers in the two groups to assess their nourishment levels at the end of each week.

They looked at the participants' vitamin, mineral, fat and cholesterol levels.

Despite popular belief that white bread is less healthy, the team found no significant difference between the two groups at the end of the experiment. 

'The initial finding, and this was very much contrary to our expectation, was that there were no clinically significant differences between the effects of these two types of bread on any of the parameters that we measured,' Researcher Eran Segal told The Sun.

'We looked at a number of markers, and there was no measurable difference in the effect that this type of dietary intervention had.'

'The findings for this study are not only fascinating but potentially very important – different people react differently, even to the same foods.'

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We love new carb creations here in Shemazing! HQ, and this has sent our taste buds soaring.

The Croloaf is M&S's latest creation, and it's safe to say everyone is going mental over it.

The croissant loaf of bread has been described as the "perfect fusion of the French and British breakfast.

"Our croissant loaf is perfect for those who like the convenience of grabbing a slice of toast for breakfast but love the delicious buttery taste of croissants," the M&S spokeswoman said.

"Now they don't have to compromise and can enjoy the best of both worlds."

And better still, a slice of the croloaf is only a fraction of the calories of a regular croissant. The whole loaf contains about 1,000 calories, and a slice is about 114.

The loaf is around €3 and people are seriously impressed by it:

We can't wait to try it!

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‘Round SHEmazing! Towers we’re fond of the odd little indulgence.

Simple things like shameless lie-ins, cheeky afternoon pints, pay-day splurges and epic Netflix binges.

But what trumps them all? Why that would be the humble food-group known affectionately as ‘all the carbs, please’.

Because while some folk love chocolate, and others lust after a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio, we’re in a fully-committed, long-term relationship with bread, pasta, potatoes, and crackers and cheese.

You too? Here are the six signs to look out for:

 

You’re a bonafide breadophile:

It’s not simply a case of ‘brown or white’ – no siree. That’s because you know your wholemeal stoneground soda from your brown round soda. Chia-seed cob? Yes please. Rye sourdough with sunflower seeds? Why not.

FYI, Supervalu has launched a new range of bread and cakes and suffice to say just looking at the range sent us to our happy place.

 

A fry is the breakfast of kings:

Beans, a treble round of white sliced pan with butter, and salty hash browns piled high. You’re happy to throw in a couple of fried eggs to make it ‘healthy,’ but there’s no denying that the ultimate breakfast fry has its very foundations in pure stodge.

 

Chicken fillet roll with mayo:

Hit your local deli counter; ask them to take their freshest, warmest baquette. See it filled with spicy breaded chicken, lashings of mayo, and possibly a hint of ‘special sauce’. The result? A small sample of delicious carb heaven. Acceptable – nay, celebrated – at any time of the day.  Those with notions might even be tempted to through in a bit of iceberg lettuce.

Cereal makes for a delightful dinner:

You laugh in the face of the recommended 30g serving. Instead, a pasta bowl is your vessel; a family-sized box of Alpen your cargo as you navigate through an late-evening carb-binge. The perfection solution for when you’re too lazy to make dinner, and too poor to order it.

 

The perfect marriage: crisps and bread:

 

Chip… just chips:

You look your server straight in the eye as you tell them that you will be requiring 'LOADS of salt and vinegar'. Afterwards, you eat them on the hoof, delightfully scorching your mouth on the first few burning-hot specimens. A dud bag is tragic – but a heralded perfect concoction is one of life's great pleasures. 

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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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We all know amazing abs are easier to envy than actually achieve – and it's no secret that rock hard abs take a LOT of work.

But some women have it down to a fine art and these seven things are what they do everyday to keep their tummy toned:

1. They try new things

Your body adapts to new things quickly so it's important to change up your routine to achieve the best results.

 

2. They set realistic goals

Instead of going to the gym and only thinking about your abs; go thinking about getting an extra 10 seconds in your plank or lasting an extra five minutes running.

 

3. They use gym time wisely

If you don't have all day to be in the gym, think about what workouts are more efficient and what will help your body gain more in less time.

 

4. They opt for lean meats and smart carbs

Choose lean meats like chicken and fish, as well as sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa, and whole-grain breads to include in your everyday diet.

 

5. They cheat – but only every now and then

It's OK to have a day off and eay a large Dominos – you're only human after all. But make sure that your cheat day is only ONE day.

 

6. They do planks instead of sit-ups

Planks are more effective for targeting your core than a classic sit-up and are proven to engage more of your abdominal muscles.

 

7. They do cardio

There's really no way around it if you want amazing abs.

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For years people had been assuming that in order to lose weight then they needed to eliminate carbohydrates from their diet.

It was a tough time for everyone, and ultimately ended up leading to people cutting out some of their favourite foods for no reason.

While cutting down on the white breads and white rice will be beneficial in terms of removing the refined grains that are low in nutrients will be a good thing in the long run, you also need whole grains.

Especially if your going to exercising more frequently. So, the next time someone misguidedly tells you that carbs are going to ruin your weight-loss efforts, you grab one of these snacks and laugh your way in the opposite direction because carbs are glorious and you don’t need that negativity in your life.

Quinoa

Twice as much fibre as other grains to help speed up your metabolism

Chickpeas

Try roasting them for snack that's tasty and filled with protein

Sweet potatoes

Less fat that their white counterparts and also tasty.

Popcorn

According to studies popcorn makes people feel more satisfied and less hungry than people who snacked on something like say, a bag of Taytos.

Oats

Complex carbs will fill you up and make sure you're not missing out on any of the goodnees, just don't go overboard adding toppings that you would normally find in the biscuit tin.

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We are secretly delighted to hear the news that the Paleo diet may have been wrong all along about ditching the carbs. 

It's SO extremely difficult to lead a low-carb life as the diet advises, eating mainly just fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts and seeds. 

Many celebrities have been seen to swear by the Paleo diet including Matthew McConaughey and golfer Phil Mickelson. 

Although this diet has gained a lot of popularity over the passed few years, experts are now debating whether we need to include carbs in our diet or not.

A study carried out in the University of Chicago suggests that eating carbohydrates was vital for the acceleration of brain growth over millions of years, these carbohydrates include potatoes which the Paleo diet suggests you steer clear of. 

Several nutritionists have also joined the debate saying that although the Paleo diet helps people lose weight, it may not be the healthiest option. 

The Paleo diet is based around the diet of those living in the Paleolithic era. It's concerned with people eating the same diet as our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten. 

Although this diet has been effective since being introduced, the study carried out says "“Eating meat may have kick-started the evolution of bigger brains, but cooked starchy foods together with more salivary amylase genes made us smarter still.”

According to this study, to truly eat Paleo, higher levels of carbohydrates are necessary. The explanation for this finding it that the brain uses 1/4 of the body's energy which is hard to meet on a low-carb diet. 

The study reports: “Up until now, there has been a heavy focus on the role of animal protein and cooking in the development of the human brain over the last 2 million years" 

"The importance of carbohydrate, particular in form of starch-rich plant foods, has been largely overlooked.”

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You can tuck into starchy foods such as cereal, bread and chips – and counteract some of the negative effects by drinking green tea at the same time.

That’s because an extract from the tea has now been found to reduce the amount of carbs that you absorb during digestion.

Hurrah! Starch is the most common carbohydrate we consume, and the likes of potatoes, rice, bread and pasta all contain large amounts.

Led by Jaroslaw Walkowiak of Poznan University in Poland, the researchers found the dose of green tea extract decreased starch digestion and absorption compared to a placebo group.

“This plant extract is widely available, inexpensive, and well tolerated, so it has potential utility for weight control and the treatment of diabetes,” researchers said afterwards.

They added that it was important to have several cups a day in order for the process to prove effective.

And plenty of A-listers are already in on the act too: Lady Gaga is said to be drinking up in the run-up to her forthcoming wedding, while Kendall Jenner said last year she was downing "like 12 cups a day".

Several years ago, Victoria Beckham was among the first wave of celebs who was reportedly staying slim by regularly consuming green tea.

 

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In the last few years people have developed a love/hate relationship with carbs.

While some have abandoned them completely and get misty eyed at the mere mention of carbonara, others will proceed to tell you all about how great their life is now without them.

But did you know your locks might actually need carbs in order to unlock their most fabulous potential. Say what? Yes, it’s true.

Carbs are a source of energy that your body needs. Your hair cells grow rapidly, even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, so they need carbohydrates are necessary to promote growth and repair in the cells there.

 

A photo posted by Girls with Gluten (@girlswithgluten) on

According to Charlotte’s Book lacking carbs makes you tired, and your hair can start to feel the same way.

You can’t dismiss all carbs as being the same. Complex carbohydrates release energy slowly so you don’t get a sugar high associated with say, a full slice pan of white bread.

 

A photo posted by LEAH ITSINES (@leahitsines) on

Carbs that promote healthy cells and hair growth are things like brown rice, grains and whole-grain breads. Complex carbs are also full of fibre and other vitamins you need for a healthy diet anyway, so this is just a fabulous hair bonus.

 

A photo posted by KayleyMelissa (@kayleymelissa) on

Timing is also everything. Just like with all eating routines, if you go hours and hours without snacking your blood sugar drops. Not only will you be battling the struggles of the hangry person, but your hair will be challenged too.

This means that the cells receive less energy, so growth and repair takes longer, or may not take place at all. Start stocking up on some healthy complex carbohydrate snacks and let your hair live it’s best life.

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Somewhere along the way, ‘carbohydrate’ became a dirty word.

Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston were swearing off them for life and ‘carb-free’ alternatives were popping up on menus the world over.

However, a healthy carb supply can help give you bags of energy, keep blood sugar levels even and keep you in a good mood!

Here are five healthy foods which actually have more carbs than a slice of bread:

Sweet Potatoes
Spuds are known for their starchy carb levels, but a medium-sized sweet potato has 24 grams of carbs, 105 calories, and lots of vitamin A and potassium. Plus they’re yummy too!

Kidney beans
Kidney beans are packed full of healthy carbs – around 30 grams per serving! Put them in a yummy chilli for a carb-kick that won’t leave you bloated.

Chickpeas
Chickpeas have up 35 grams of carbs per cup—with only six of those grams from sugar. Chickpeas are also low in calories (just 210 per cup). Hummus anyone?

Apples
Sink your teeth in a delicious apple to get up to 27 grams of carbs into your daily diet. It also comes with about five grams of fibre, 114 calories, and 1.5 grams of fat.

Raisins
The perfect low fat snack! Just a quarter cup of raisins has 33 grams of carbs – more than twice as much as a slice of bread! With 123 calories, 1.5 grams of fibre per quarter cup, a handful of raisins will give you bags of energy!

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