NutriPro All About Balance – Consider your carbs & starches

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Carbohydrate-rich foods are the major source of calories in the diet. However, they are also an important source of the fibre, vitamins, and minerals that our bodies need. This group includes simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates or starches, and dietary fibre.

Carbohydrates typically make up the majority of calories in a balanced diet. That is the reason why their quality is crucial. When planning your dishes, look for whole grains, and be creative by using ancient grains and in-season fruits and vegetables.

What does multi-grain mean?

Multi-grain means that a food contains more than one type of grain, but make sure to read the ingredient list because grains may still be refined. For a better choice, look for whole grain options1.

What is the difference between whole grain vs. refined grains?

Whole grains are made up of three parts:

  • Endosperm: the starchy carbohydrate middle layer with some protein and vitamins
  • Germ: the nutrient-packed core with B vitamins, vitamin E, phytochemicals and healthy fats
  • Bran: the fibre-filled outer layer with B vitamins and minerals

Refined grains have had the bran and germ removed so they contains only the endosperm, losing much of the fibre and most of the vitamins and minerals2.

Planning the plate with carbs and starches

The ideal portion for grains is a modest handful, which represents 25% of the plate.

1 Michigan State University: Whole grain vs. multigrain vs. whole wheat. 2013.
2 Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.  Whole Grains. 2018.

Read more on the increasing pressure from regulators and general public on food service operators regarding their contribution to the global obesity rise:

Oversized meals have been shown to be a factor in obesity (01.2019)

Larger portion servings in restaurants are a global issue (03.2019)

Fast food vs fast casual – Which has more calories? (02.2019)

Restaurants have gotten a hall pass on obesity and it must end (08.2018)

Death by diet: the race to transform the world's bad food habits (04.2019)