Carbs such as potatoes and pasta
Nutrition Essentials

What you should know about carbs

Is going low-carb really better for your health? Here's what you should know about carbohydrates and the important role they play in our diets.

Carbs: The pros and cons

Carbohydrates get a bad rep, but the truth is, they provide vital fuel for your workouts and you shouldn't be afraid of them.

Carbohydrates are a vital fuel source for physical activity, especially high intensity training. After a long workout, the carb supply that builds up in your liver or musculature can disappear completely and will need to be replenished to aid recovery.

Why should I eat carbs?

Beside helping your body recovery from workouts, the brain is extremely dependent on glucose as fuel from carbs. Without carbs, you can develop hypoglycaemia and uncomfortable symptoms like dizziness, nausea, cold sweats, concentration difficulties, increased pulse, extreme hunger and confusion.

What's more, if you don't eat carbs your body won't be able to reap the benefits of healthy whole grain foods such as oats, brown rice and wholegrain bread. These foods provide vitamins, antioxidants and fibre which helps keep your gut happy and healthy.

Discover more gut-friendly foods in our complete grocery store guide

General Carb Guidelines

In general, a diet that consists of 45-65% carbohydrates is recommended, but this can vary based on your age, lifestyle, activity levels and more.

Though carbs often been demonised, restricting any food group out of your diet will be difficult to sustain in the long run. To reap the most nutritional benefits from your food, you’ll want a good balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates for every meal.

Related: How to create a healthy diet that you can actually stick you

Where can I find healthy carbs?

Healthy carbs are rich in fiber, keeping you full and your stomach happy. Here's a short list of healthy sources of carbs to choose from:

  • Oatmeal
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Fruit
  • Berries
  • Spinach
  • Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Whole grain bread, pasta etc.

Remember: there's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to healthy eating. Finding a satisfying and sustainable diet is the best way to feel good - and that's what's most important.

Looking for more healthy eating guides? Here's how to know if you're eating enough protein.