Until now, many people have thought reducing carbohydrates is a good idea.

Don’t they make us fat? Tired? Or ill? Well, yes, according to eating plans endorsed by celebrities.

But the story is more complex than that. Or, put another way, it should be more complex than that because complex carbs are essential to good health. They’ll even help us live longer, suggests a new study carried out by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston published in the highly regarded Lancet Public Health journal. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180817093812.htm

Researchers followed 15,428 adults between 45 and 64 years of age for more than two decades. They found that people who ate a low carb diet died an average of four years earlier than those with moderate intakes. FOUR YEARS EARLIER. Even those with high carb intakes fared better.

How do you know if you’re eating enough? Calculator your needs with the link at the end of this story.

Meanwhile, what exactly are carbs and what do they do? Carbs are one of three macronutrients — the other two are proteins and fats — that your body needs every day not just for energy but for the health of your brain, kidneys, heart, muscles and central nervous system.

So, do eat…

Whole grains including quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, whole-grain pasta and whole-grain breakfast cereals.

Fruits like berries that are packed with health-giving antioxidants, citrus fruits, apples, pears and bananas.

Starchy vegetables such as low GI sweet potatoes and beta carotene-packed carrots as well as non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, beans, zucchini and more.

Legumes like lentils such as chickpeas and lentils.

Nuts and seeds

And stay away from …

Refined grains in white breads, white rice and pasta.

To calculate the number of serves you need, as well as your daily energy and nutrient needs, go to:

https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/eat-health-calculators