Monthly Archives: October 2014

Carbohydrates, Starch, gluten… the whole shebang!

Let us start with the basics: 

Carbohydrates are a large group of organic compounds occurring in foods and living tissue. It includes sugars, starch and cellulose. Carbohydrates can be broken down and release energy in the form of glucose within the body.

To make it a little easier.. All vegetables, fruits, starches, dairy and sugars contain carbohydrates.

Some carbohydrates are better than other for the general health of a person. For example: veggies are definitely more beneficial than sugar as it contain, not only the glucose energy, but also fiber, vitamins and minerals. Some carbohydrates are also easier absorbed in the body compared to others. This is where the Glycemic Index comes to play. A low GI means that it takes longer to release the glucose energy in the body whereas the glucose energy of the high GI foods are released much quicker – causing a spike in your blood sugar.


Moving on to starch. Starch is an odourless, tasteless white substance occurring widely in plant tissue and obtained mainly from cereals and potatoes. Starch is classified according the biochemical structure thereof. It contributes more glucose energy and therefore can be the culprit of weight loss resistance. Starches include all grains, barley, wheat, and products thereof such as pasta, rice and breakfast cereals. There is a group of vegetables also classified as starch and these veggies include; potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut, corn, peas and legumes.


Getting to gluten… Gluten is the protein molecule found in wheat, barley, rye, oats and their products. Note that it is not found in the starchy vegetables. It is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. Some people may be incredibly intolerant to gluten and should avoid the consumption thereof. Some people are a little sensitive to gluten but can manage to eat small quantities thereof.

If you suspect gluten intolerance, speak to your dietician on the management thereof! 


Needless to say, carbohydrates are important to sustain life. It has multiple benefits including: digestive health, heart health, controlling blood sugar and providing the body with energy.

Proper selection of carbohydrates and controlled intake thereof may assist greatly with weight loss and management. Always choose the carbohydrates high in fiber and high in nutrients. And remember – the less processed a carbohydrate, the better!

10 Things you need to know about weight loss…



1) There is no quick fix! You didn’t gain all your excess weight overnight and you won’t be able to lose it all overnight.. Have some patience! Good things take time!

2) It is NOT easy! You will have to work on your self-discipline, you will have to say no to certain treats and you will have to cut down on alcohol..

3) If you don’t drink enough water, the fat won’t go anywhere. Drinking water is key to losing weight!

4) The scale won’t always tell you the truth. Many things may influence your weight and they need to be taken into consideration when dieting. Focus on the centimeters and fat percentage as mush as you focus on the scale.

5) Sleeping is really important when you want to lose weight. Irregular sleeping patterns may cause a big problem for your weight loss objectives!

6) Friends and family may get jealous of your progress and may push you off the wagon. Be strong and always remember that you are the only one that actually put food in your mouth

7) Doing some form of exercise will benefit your weight loss program. 30 minutes cardio exercise, 4 -5 per week, is more than enough to kick-start the weight loss!

8) Skipping meals and starving is not recommended for weight loss. You need to fasten your metabolism to lose weight effectively. You must eat to lose weight! Be careful of eating too little as it will result in gaining all the weight when eating “normally” again.

9) Speaking of eating normally.. Weight loss should be a lifestyle change and not a crash diet before an event. Transform your body to be healthier and you will feel like a new person!

10) There is light at the end of the tunnel! Many people have succeeded in healthy weight loss and so can you! If you need a little motivation, speak to your dietician about tips and guidance for healthy weight loss!