Diet & Nutrition

How to eat carbs and still feel great

There is great news for carb lovers, you don’t need to cut yummy favourites like bread or rice from your diet to lose weight - just choose healthy versions!

By As told to Take 5
If you're a carb lover, but have found yourself avoiding them, then good news! You can still eat carbohydrates and feel great.
You don't need to cut yummy favourites like bread or rice from your diet to lose weight - just choose healthy versions.

What happens when you give up carbs?

Low-carb diets have become all the rage the last few years for their fast weight-loss results but carbohydrates are essential for energy and proper brain function.
This is why people who follow a mostly protein-based diet may be sluggish, irritable and can have trouble concentrating.
There are a whole host of bad side effects which come with only eating protein, including bad breath, constipation and muscle cramps.
In the long-term, serious medical conditions such as heart disease and osteoporosis are also at an increased risk.

How to choose healthy carbs

Dietitian Lyndi Cohen tells us that a simple way to choose healthier carbs is to look for options which have a low rating on the Glycaemic Index.
These low GI foods means the food takes longer to be digested, avoiding high spikes in your blood sugar and providing you with a slow and consistent source of energy.
Great low-GI options include grainy bread, berries and brown rice. If your family doesn't like the taste or texture of brown rice, then try SunRice Low GI white rice.
Less processed carbohydrates are also better for you, so put down the muffins, donuts and biscuits and try some of the healthy swaps.

Can I lose weight and eat carbs?

The great news is you can eat carbs and still enjoy healthy weight loss.
Overall, it is the amount of calories you consume which affects weight loss, not where they come from.
Carbohydrates contain few calories, gram for gram then fat.
They are also a great source of fibre, which research from the American Dietetic Association has linked to people who have lower weight.
Low GI carbs also help keep you satisfied and feeling fuller for longer, meaning you're much less likely to reach for a sugary snack when the 3pm slump hits.

What about gluten?

Gluten has copped a bad rap over the last few years but unless you have a specific health condition, such as coeliac disease, it isn't necessary to go gluten-free.
A lot of gluten-free products are highly processed.
To make them tastier, gluten-free alternatives often have more added fat and sugar and less fibre than the original options.
Instead of processed alternatives, opt for naturally gluten-free options like rice, legumes, fruit and vegetables.

Carbs and gut health

When it comes to a healthy diet, variety is key. Eating from a wide variety of foods groups is essential for getting a mix of nutrients in your diet.
Variety is also really important for your gut health.
Your gut loves healthy carbs like oats, sweet potato and rice, and without these it has a hard time producing the antioxidants it needs to fight DNA damage.
You know what that means – premature wrinkles!
Keep scrolling for some healthy carb swaps!

Swap sugary cereal for porridge

← Slide →

Swap mashed potato for mashed sweet potato

← Slide →

Swap dried fruit for a cup of berries

← Slide →

Swap icecream for greek yoghurt

← Slide →

Swap potato chips for a handful of almonds

← Slide →

Swap crumpets for sourdough toast

← Slide →

Did you know?

  • Studies show that a low-glycemic diet can work best for long-term weight-loss.
  • While the kilo drop isn't usually as sudden as a stricter low-carb diet, it's more sustainable because whole food groups are not removed.
  • It's also considered more beneficial in reducing the risk of serious diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • If overall calorie consumption is still moderate and you burn more calories than you consume, a loss of half-to-one kilo a week is achievable.


Check out our sample menu for a day on how to incorporate carbs into a healthy diet.
A bowl of porridge made with skim milk, topped with blueberries and a dash of cinnamon.
A handful of almonds.
A wholegrain sandwich with lean turkey breast filled with and your favourite salad.
A cup of cooked popcorn.
A chicken stir-fry, made from skinless chicken breast. Add your favourite veggies like broccoli, snow peas and red capsicum and serve on a bed of low GI rice.
Greek yoghurt.

read more from