'Eat Right' Challenge, Carbs - Day 3

Emma White - Nutritionist

Why cutting out carbs completely is a bad idea

Lowering your carbs a little is fine (for example, if you're following our Lower Carb Goal), but the danger with a drastic reduction is that you also cut out an essential source of fibre in your diet. The good 'complex' carbs we've talked about are excellent sources of fibre – so if you take a blanket cut on ALL carbs, you're throwing out all the good stuff with the less healthy carbs.

And the problem with that is most of us are not getting enough fibre in our diet anyway! The daily fibre target is 30g, and the average female in the UK is hitting around 17g and male 20g. So as always, it comes down to balance – carbs play an essential role in our diet. Aside from providing energy, they are fibre providers too.

7 top tips for a healthier lower carb diet

Carbs are an important part of our diet, so we shouldn't cut them out completely. They are our body's preferred source of energy and also high carb foods tend to be the primary sources of important nutrients, such as fibre, in our diet. But if you do want to cut down a little, follow our tops tips to get the most out of the carbs you do eat.

  1. Still include some carbs with each meal – just cut the portion and eat a little more protein.
  2. Swap spaghetti for a veg alternative such as courgetti.
  3. Swap rice for a veg alternative such as cauliflower rice.
  4. Switch sandwiches to an open version to cut down on bread.
  5. As you are reducing carbs, ensure what you do eat is the very best quality – see below.
  6. Limit refined carbs such as cakes, biscuits, sweets and chocolate.
  7. If exercising, remember carbs are an important source of energy, so time a carb snack for before and after your training.

As your total carbs are reduced, ensure the ones you do eat are the very best quality...

Best quality carbs to eat Refined carbs to limit

Whole wheat carbs


Refined carbs






Fruits & Vegetables


Sugary drinks






Potatoes with skin on


Sugary cereals

Nutritionist Emma White (ANutr), MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.

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