Do carbohydrates really make you fat? Wave this myth goodbye, as carbohydrates are much better than most people think – it just depends on when you eat them. At breakfast, the body needs carbohydrates as fuel, for example in the form of complex sugars such as grains, starch or fiber. Fiber is particularly important for digestion, as our gut bacteria love it, ensuring that certain waste materials are disposed of but also that useful substances are fed back into the body. It is recommended that 40% of your daily diet consist of complex carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains.
Hash browns, pancakes with maple syrup, or bread and jam are particularly good breakfast options. Ideally you should go for whole-grain bread with a mixture of rye, barley, buckwheat and oats. A tip: be careful with oats and cornflakes, as they often contain high levels of simple sugars.
The carbohydrates found in baked goods, pasta, potatoes, rice, corn, fruit, soft drinks and alcohol are best had at lunchtime. Once again, make sure that you look at the ingredients of all ready-made products, as they often contain a lot of simple sugars – so making it yourself is often better than buying it.
However, carbohydrates should definitely be avoided in the evening, as they result in your blood sugar cycle being disrupted overnight. This promotes weight gain and can also result in dementia, muscle loss and loss of strength if continued over a long period of time.
Furthermore, every single one of your body’s processes requires energy, even digesting a meal. This process burns 100 to 300 calories depending on the type of food consumed. You are therefore better off opting for whole-grain products or al dente vegetables, as they are digested much more slowly and require more energy than white bread or vegetable purees.