Carbs, is it good for you?

According to Dr. Xand van Tulleken:

Low-carb diets have been around for a while. But do you know the color of the carbs you eat also matters – and as Dr. Xand van Tulleken explains, it’s the beige ones you really have to watch out for.

As we discover in “the truth about carbs”, carbohydrates are one of the way our bodies get energy from food. But here are three types – starch, sugar, and fiber.

Starch is what we usually understand as carbs to mean – foods like bread, pasta, potatoes and rice – but these “beige” varieties aren’t good for you. Neither are “white” carbs – found in sugary food such as fizzy drinks, sweets and processed and refined food including cakes and biscuits. Most of the starch and sugar in these beige and white carbs are broken down into glucose for energy, and if you eat too much, the glucose is stored as fat.

But there is another type of carb – dietary free, found in fruit and vegetables – what we might call “green carbs”. It keeps you full, slows stomach emptying, and is usually the part of the plant that supplies you with vitamins and minerals. It’s good for your teeth and gums and good for your guts, keeping everything moving and feeding your gut bacteria.


Flour, rice, potatoes, pasta, breakfast cereals and other processed grains. White or highly processed brown bread.


Cauliflower rice, celeriac, sweet potatoes. Rye or pumpernickel bread.


Eggs, meat, fish, nuts and legumes. And half of each dish should be green or brightly colored: fresh vegetables, salad greens, tomatoes and aubergines.

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