It’s been fashonable to demonise carbs, but is it always justified?
The term covers too many foods to give a sweeping verdict on the lot. A few examples are the:
Instant energy carbs – such as the bananas we see tennis stars munching mid-match.
Slow release energy carbs – such as whole grain cereals which can keep us sustained for hours.
Complicated carbs – the barely digested carbs in pulses like chickpeas, which become food for our gut bacteria.
Junk carbs – sweets and biscuits, with virtually no nutritional value.
Chips, doughnuts and biscuits are obviously unhealthy carbs, but the foods with hidden sweetness are harder to spot.
Sugar – Genetically speaking, we have evolved to love the taste of sweetness. A quick look for sugars in the ingredients list of a packet of oaty, wholegrain, low fat, high fibre breakfast cereal and I find:
- glucose syrup
- partially inverted brown sugar syrup
- barley malt extract
Of all these ingredients, sugar is the least sweet. We have found so many ways to alter a starch or sugar molecule and enhance the sweetness. Chemically splitting a sugar or starch molecule results in small glucose molecules which have a more intense sweet taste. One danger is that we subconsciously develop a sweet food habit. We need to be warey of foods that look “healthy” at a glance! Always read the ingredients list.
Our aim with Moodilicious is to promote good food prepared from scratch.