Carbs, like porridge, are important to include in your day based on a recent study published, and widely reported on, in the Lancet. Eating a moderate amount of carbs everyday not only fuels for workouts, it is associated with lower mortality compared to very low carbohydrate or very high carbohydrate based diets. It bears repeating, though, that all carbohydrates are not the same.
In this very large and long term study, the lowest risk of mortality was associated with carbohydrate intake at 50–55% of total calories or 250 grams of carbohydrate for a person eating 2,000 calories per day (1 banana has an average of 27 grams of carb, for perspective). Looking at the two extremes, mortality risk was increased with the lowest (<40% of calories) and highest (>70% calories) of carbohydrate intake.
Looking closer at the data, those who replaced carbohydrates with animal protein (eg, beef, lamb, chicken and pork) were at the highest mortality risk in contrast to those who replaced carbs with plant proteins (eg, vegetables, nut butter, whole grain bread).
It is a tough balance sometimes getting the right amount of carbs and the natural tendency can be to have pancakes more often. However, what research shows is that nutrient dense carbs are best. These are carbs that are slowly digested and from whole foods, such as, vegetables, fruits, whole grains (eg, oatmeal, quinoa, farro, popcorn, brown rice, wild rice, barley), starchy vegetables (eg, sweet potato, butternut squash, peas, corn, plantains), and lentils and beans.
Here are some recipes to inspire you!
Happy and healthful eating,
Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN
If you are interested in working in more nutrient dense carbohydrates into your intake, contact me [email protected]