Eating carbohydrates at night is something people are told to avoid if they’re trying to lose weight.
While there’s evidence that suggests not eating carbs at night can help, Australian dietitian Lyndi Cohen doesn’t believe they should be banned from the dinner table.
‘Carbs have been getting a bad rap in the last few years,’ she told FEMAIL.
Dietitian Lyndi Cohen (pictured) said carbs have been getting a bad rap in the last few years
According to Ms Cohen, not all carbohydrates are created equally.
Processed or refined carbs such as sugar-sweetened drinks, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta and white rice can cause blood-sugar spikes and lead to weight gain.
Ms Cohen said many believe not eating carbs at night can keep off unwanted kilos, but this isn’t something that works.
Eating ‘smart carbs’ such as those found in whole foods like brown rice, quinoa, legumes and beans can help with weight loss (stock image)
She recommended eating ‘smart carbs’ at night – slow-burning, unprocessed whole foods like brown rice, quinoa, legumes, beans, milk, yoghurt and vegetables such as sweet potato.
She said eating these types of carbs, as well as exercising, was a better way to keep weight off.
‘Our bodies convert carbohydrates to glycogen, which is stored in the muscles. This is the source that helps to power you through a workout.’
‘Our bodies convert carbohydrates to glycogen, which is stored in the muscles. This is the source that helps to power you through a workout,’ Ms Cohen said
Unrefined carbs eaten at night can help produce serotonin, a hormone that helps the body to relax (stock image)
Ms Cohen also said that eating unrefined carbs at night could also help those who didn’t sleep well.
This is because they can have an effect on hormones, especially those related to relaxation like serotonin.
‘Eating smart carbs keep your blood sugar levels more stable which impacts on insulin [the metabolism hormone] levels.
Quinoa is a grain that gets the smart carb tick from the Australian dietitian (stock image)
‘Not only does this help you better manage weight, but it can also help keep your mood more stable.’
If sugar cravings are a problem, especially in the evening, a small serving of smart carbs can help quell these too, the dietitian said.
The benefits of eating smart carbs:
*They are a great source of long-lasting energy
*Eating smart carbs can help with weight loss
*They help keep blood sugar levels more stable
* Improve your mood by helping regulate hormone like serotonin and insulin
‘If you have night cravings a whole piece of fruit or some plain Greek yoghurt may not only help satisfy a sweet tooth but it could help you have a better night’s sleep.’
Her advice on eating carbs doesn’t just apply to nights either as eating carbs like pasta and white bread can cause similar issues no matter when they’re consumed.
‘Sugary processed carbohydrates can lead to a big spike in blood sugar levels followed shortly by a big lull, causing energy and mood to plummet.
‘Smart carbs provide your body with a steady supply of energy so you can side-step the mood swings and have the energy to get through your day,’ she concluded.