‘Why we should eat fewer beige carbs’

Image copyright BBC/Lion Television/Joe Taylor
Image caption Not all carbs are created equivalent…

Low-carb diets have been around for a while. Yet did you know the colour of the carbs you consume also matters – and as Doctor Xand van Tulleken explains, it is the beige ones you really have to watch out for.

Dr Faisal Maassarani is usually on a mission. The GP, through Kirkby, on Merseyside, wants to obtain his patients to eat fewer carbohydrates and thereby improve their health.

But there are a large numbers of obstacles for Dr Maassarani. He works in one of the poorest parts of the country, with high unemployment, higher obesity rates and low degrees of education.

The master plan seemed simple to the point of naivety. He assembled a group of seven over weight and obese patients, with health issues like type 2 diabetes, higher cholesterol and high blood pressure and performed a few basic tests.

He then enlisted chefs from a nearby cookery school to prepare a banquet for them, to show that healthy food might be tasty, affordable and filling.

Dr Maassarani furthermore read them the riot react on the possible consequences of weight problems and diabetes (gangrene, strokes, cardiovascular attacks, ulcers and more).

Then he was going to depart them to it for two weeks (really no time at all to address chronic wellness problems) and allow them to alter the types and amounts of carbs in their diet programs in whatever way they decided, and then replicate the tests.

It seemed to me he had been on a hiding to nothing.

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Media caption The cracker test can show how well you digest carbohydrates

How we digest carbs

As we discover in The Truth About Carbohydrates , carbohydrates are one of the ways your body get energy from food.

There are three types : starch, sugar and fibre.

Starch is what all of us usually understand carbs to indicate – foods like bread, nudeln, potatoes and rice – require “beige” varieties aren’t good for you.

Neither are “white” carbohydrates – found in sugary foods like fizzy drinks, sweets and prepared and refined foods including bread and biscuits.

The majority of the starch and sugar in these beige and white carbs are divided into glucose for energy, and when you eat too much, the glucose is usually stored as fat.

Diet plan tips


  • Flour, rice, taters, pasta, breakfast cereals and other prepared grains
  • White or packaged brown bread

Replace along with:

  • Cauliflower rice, celeriac, sweet potatoes
  • Rye or even pumpernickel bread


  • Eggs, meat, fish, nuts plus legumes
  • And half of each meal should be green or brightly colored: fresh vegetables, salad greens, tomatoes plus aubergines

Take those BBC Food test: How carb-clever are you?

But there is another kind of carb – dietary fibre, present in fruit and vegetables – what we might contact “green carbs”. It keeps a person full, slows stomach emptying, and it is usually the part of the plant that products you with vitamins and minerals.

It’s good for your teeth plus gums and good for your courage, keeping everything moving and giving your gut bacteria.

And then there is resistant starch – found in high-fibre foods like lentils, beans and unprocessed fiber rich foods – is also hard to digest within a good way: it gets right down into the lower digestive tract (your colon) exactly where its main job is not in order to feed you but rather to give food to your gut bacteria.

Healthy gut bacteria are usually linked to a wide range of benefits, both bodily and mental.

And something other tip – reheating may also turn bad carbs into great – if you reheat starches such as pasta or toasted bread through the freezer, the molecules reconfigure them selves and become more resistant, allowing them to vacation further in your gut and give food to your microbiome.

Diabetes ‘barely detectable’

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Two weeks upon in Kirby, it was amazing to find out that all seven patients had changed their diets as requested plus opted for more green carbs.

They weren’t sensation hungry, or finding it bothersome, and they had started a talk group to help each other with quality recipes.

It was their own measurements that astounded me: the particular diabetics had improved their blood sugar levels so dramatically that one of them is at part-remission.

Within two weeks his type 2 diabetes, which he had had for seventeen years, was barely detectable.

And six from the seven lost half a rock or more.

The Truth About Carbs , with Dr Xand vehicle Tulleken, is on BBC One particular at 20: 00 on Wed 6 June.

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