Carbohydrates are our bodies’ first source of fuel. They are easily broken down in our digestive system and converted into glucose so they can be absorbed into the blood and used as energy. Commonly carbohydrates are divided into two categories: Complex or Simple. Here at Koja HQ, we recognise three different types of carbohydrates, the great, the good and the ugly.
Let’s start with the great: Complex Carbohydrates
Wholefoods, rich in fibre, unprocessed, as close to their natural state as possible… Multigrain and wholegrain breads, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, oats, oat bran, potatoes, lentils, kidney beans, black beans, peas, soy beans and more.
The good carbohydrates: Nutrient-dense Simple Carbohydrates
Unprocessed or minimally processed… Fresh Fruit and Raw Honey. Apples, bananas, oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, nectarines, mandarins, peaches, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwifruits and more.
The ugly carbohydrates: Empty-Energy Simple Carbohydrates
White sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, lollies, white flour, white bread, soft drinks, fruit juice, cakes, jams, biscuits, syrups, molasses, tomato ketchup, processed cereals, milk chocolates and more.
We’d like to re-classify fruit as it’s packed full of essential vitamins and minerals which every child needs to grow and develop healthily. Fruit contains natural sugars and when eaten as a wholefood, for example an apple with the skin, it’s a good source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, B1, B2 and B6.
The ‘Empty-Energy’ simple carbohydrates mentioned above are very low in nutritional value. Some of them contain no vitamins or minerals at all and are highly processed, often adding artificial additives and preservatives. The ugly carbohydrates could simply be eliminated from your children’s diet all together. These foods should be treated as sometimes foods and ideally only be introduced after the age of 3. We all know it’s nice to have a sweet treat occasionally and your kids can enjoy this too.