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Smile for carb-rich foods

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DIETERS should welcome carbohydrates back into meals for a positive influence on mood and appetite control, according to nutritionists at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

During the low-carb, high-protein diets craze, carbohydrates were demonised, and said to be one reason people can’t lose weight.

Studies have shown that grain-based foods such as cereals, bread, crispbreads, rice, oats and pasta are one of the most important parts of our diet

Not only are they a source of essential vitamins and minerals, they provide the body with carbohydrates which are the main source of energy for physical activity, normal metabolic function, healthy growth and good brain function.

Queensland University of Technology lecturer in nutrition and dietetics Dr Philippa Lyons-Wall said carbohydrates can affect a chemical messenger in the brain called serotonin that elevates mood and suppresses appetite.

“High carbohydrate consumption naturally stimulates the production of serotonin – which has a natural calming effect – but protein and fat counteracts the effect,” she said.

Coinciding with the launch of National Grains Week, 3 – 7 April, researchers warn that Australians who drop grain foods from their regular diet may be doing more harm than good.

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