In the health world, carbs have always been a hot (potato) issue. First there were the diets – Atkins, ‘caveman’ and the rest – that advocated giving up bread, pasta, cake, rice, and spuds entirely. Then there was the wave of gluten free products making their way into shopping baskets whether or not shoppers were actually intolerant. It’s a wonder the sandwich is still riding high as a popular lunch choice after all this bad press.

The latest news, however, should bring joy to carb-lovers’ lives: doctors are now saying carbs shouldn’t be entirely off the menu, as long as they are the right colour.

The Truth About Carbs

Having watched Dr Xand van Tulleken on the BBC’s The Truth About Carbs, we now feel more clued-up on which carbs are going to damage our health and waistline. If it’s beige, consider swapping it for something darker, including whole grains, ‘green’ carbs found in vegetables and fruit, or pulses and lentils.

Reheated pasta helps with weight loss

Perhaps the most surprising thing we’ve discovered in recent years about carbs is that how you eat them makes a massive difference. If you can hold off from eating freshly cooked pasta, wait for it to cool and then reheat it, it will effectively have fewer calories. It’s strange but true – the cooling process makes starch more resistant to digestion, and your body will take in half the calories from resistant starches when compared to non-resistant ones.

Resistant starch will also help keep your blood sugar more stable, and act as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in your tummy and helping boost good gut health.

Lose weight by swapping carbs

Dr Xand himself lost six stone by making smarter choices around carbs, so if you’re set on losing weight, it might be an easy solution. He makes use of the reheating rule by keeping bread in the freezer before toasting it, and eating reheated porridge for breakfast.

Other swaps you can make to benefit your health and your waistline include adding in lentils, beans and pulses, which as well as full of nutrients, are naturally starch resistant and full of fibre.

Dr Xand also recommends ‘green’ carbs, found in fruit and veg including celeriac and butternut squash, which he recommends instead of potatoes.