It’s time for Shaklak Aklak to discuss the most controversial of nutrients, carbohydrates! One of the most problematic nutrition myths out there is that carbohydrates are your worst enemy if you are looking to lose weight.

We don’t believe in victimizing specific nutrients, each one has a place and time and serves an important function for our bodies. Firstly, it would be extremely difficult to completely cut out carbs from your diet. Although they are present in traditional sources such as rice, pasta and bread, carbs are also found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and also in small amounts in some meat products.

Technically, carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient, so we don’t need to eat them to survive. However, the primary functions of carbohydrates in the body are to provide energy, store energy, build macromolecules, and spare protein and fat for other uses. If we cut out carbs, our bodies can synthesize glucose but this comes at the cost of protein destruction. In other words, starving your body of carbohydrates can cause your body to use protein as an energy source.

Problems also occur when we eat too many carbohydrates, which is unfortunately the case for most of us in Egypt. Rice, pasta, and bread are present in almost every single meal we eat, and sometimes we consume more than one of these sources simultaneously too (yes, we are looking at you Fattah). The average Egyptian eats 4 cups of rice per day, and less than a ½ serving of fruit per day. The problem here is the amount of the source of carbohydrates. When choosing carbs always remember that brown and unrefined is your friend; brown bread, brown pasta, sweet potato, and brown rice rather than their white refined versions is best. This will help maintain optimal insulin levels which will eliminate the trigger of fat storage in the body, while providing you with the energy you need. Read more about healthiest carbohydrate sources here.

Stay tuned for more Shaklak Aklak episodes where important nutritional information such as servings sizes, differences between fats, and nutritional values are discussed. Find out more information via the Shaklak Aklak websiteFacebook pageInstagram page, and YouTube channel.