Carbohydrates – a good thing or a bad thing?

Carbohydrates get a bad press of these days for a variety of different reasons but a number of widely held beliefs do bear closer examination. 

Weight loss

We are often told that cutting carbohydrates will lead to weight loss and thousands, if not millions, of diet books have been sold explaining why.


However, not all research backs this up and whilst it may be true that some studies have found low-carb diets to be more effective for weight loss than low-fat diets in the short-term, in the longer term both approaches produce modest weight loss at best.


A 2015 review of the research on different types of diet found that low carb diets marginally outperformed the low-fat diet. However the difference in weight loss on the groups of dieters was tiny with the low-carb dieters losing about one girl kilogram more after 12 months.

One expert advised that the best way of losing weight was simply to eat less of everything in a way that can form a habit and be maintained over a long period. That sounds less complicated to us!

A low-carb diet is healthier?

This is what we are led to believe but as carbohydrates come from plants i.e. greens, fruit and vegetables, if we make the decision to restrict this type of food in our diet our overall health is likely to suffer. Many plant foods are rich in the vitamins, minerals and fibre that we need to stay healthy.


However, there is a big difference between unrefined and refined plant foods.

A diet high in unrefined whole grains protects against cardiovascular disease and Type II diabetes, but swap these for refined grains like white flour, white bread, sugar and white rice and your risk of poor health will increase.


Wholegrains and carbohydrate rich foods such as legumes also encourage a healthy diversity of gut bacteria, something that is linked to reduced inflammation, better immunity and improved mental health.

One recent study found that switching to a high-fat, no carb diet lowered the number of beneficial bacteria residing in the gut.

Avoid fruit – really?

Fruit contains sugar so some people believe that fruit can be bad for you but this simply isn’t true. The sugars in fruit are absorbed slowly and steadily so making fruit your go to snack will mean that you will get essential nutrients fibre and antioxidants all wrapped up in a low kilojoule package.

Where fruit can be a problem however is when it’s juiced. Drinking fruit as juice makes it easier to ingest more kilojoules and also releases the fruit sugar (fructose) faster into your bloodstream. You will also reduce some of the benefits of the fibre by pulverising fruit so finely that it changes the physical structure. Some commercial juices will even remove the fibre altogether. On balance it is best to stick to whole fruit.


We hope that this clarifies some of the myths surrounding low-carb diets.


Mayfair, we care.

Is It a Craze or Is Gluten Bad for You?

Gluten is an umbrella term for certain protein group found in cereal grains, like wheat. These proteins are what allows the dough to stick together, to be elastic and capable of being formed in many shapes.

Recently, gluten-free products have taken over the world and have become usual in many households. Usually, gluten-free alternatives are more expensive, but... Gluten is bad for you and your health is more valuable than saving money, right? Well, things are a little bit more complicated.

Do All People Have to Avoid Gluten?   

The short answer is no. Gluten-free products can only cause problems for certain people with existing medical conditions. The research right now is just not significant enough to draw such drastic conclusions as "gluten is bad for everyone". Nonetheless, it is advisable to experiment with your diet. Maybe you have one of those conditions which we will mention soon, or maybe your body just functions better without gluten in your diet.     

Wheat Allergy     

If you have a wheat allergy, your immune system is destined to react abnormally to wheat products and certain proteins in wheat. It means that you should avoid all products with wheat, as symptoms can range from mild inconveniences to life-threatening. To people who suffer from a wheat allergy, it is uncommon to experience anaphylaxis shock after ingesting a wheat product. That being said, most of us have wheat daily, so chances that you have wheat allergy with life-threatening risk is low, as you should have already experienced it.    

In spite of that, you might have a wheat allergy and ingesting wheat might cause slight problems breathing, a headache or nausea. You might get those symptoms but attribute them to any problems, so it is important to get tested for wheat allergy and know for sure if you can eat wheat.    

Celiac Disease    

This is the disease which is most commonly associated with gluten. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease. If you suffer from celiac disease, ingesting gluten causes inflammation throughout your body, mainly in the small intestine. It, in turn, causes damage to the lining of your small intestine, which might result in diarrhea and stomach ache. In addition, full-body inflammation can cause brain-fog, depression and weaken your immune system.     

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS)    

In case you are sure that you have neither wheat allergy nor celiac disease, but still suffer adverse effects from eating gluten, you might have NCGS. It is a condition when a person is sensitive to gluten despite obvious causes. Reasons for non-celiac gluten sensitivity is not known and for that reason cannot be easily treated. If you experience brain fog, drop in energy, abnormal bowel movement or other unpleasant symptoms after eating gluten, you might have NCGS and it is advisable that you go on a gluten-free diet.    

Final Words    

So, is gluten-free a craze or is gluten bad for you? In brief, if you have a wheat allergy or a celiac disease, gluten-free is the way to go. Otherwise, if you are happy after your tea and toast breakfast and do not feel any worse, avoiding gluten will not make you any healthier.

Remember, Mayfair we care.

Easy hints and tips for an easier life.

Improve your sleep

Where a pair of socks. Recent research has indicated that wearing socks can significantly improve sleep quality people who were socks full asleep 15 minutes earlier stay asleep during the night and sleep for 30 minutes longer.

Escaping stress

Try listening to your favourite music. Neuroscientists in the UK have specified that one song in particular, Weightless by Marconi Union resulted in a 65% reduction in overall anxiety. The song was created with this in mind, and a 10 hour version of Weightless is available on YouTube. 

Healthy Snacking

Try replacing our current snacks with nuts or seeds. They supply a number of essential nutrients and Brazil nuts in particular contain fibre, protein, vitamin E, iron, copper, magnesium and zinc, as well as healthy mono unsaturated fats. 

Guilty pleasure.

Chocolate. Sometimes it’s good to have something that you like. It improves the mood and need not threaten health. If you like chocolate, consider eating dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Why? Chocolate with the cocoa content of 60% or more offers health benefits such as antioxidants. Dark chocolate contains less sugar and fat but more fibre so you will eat so less of it because it is more filling.

Milk chocolate is only 10 to 20% cocoa and mainly consists of cocoa butter, fats and sugar – so less good for you.

Memory boosters

One top tip to help you remember things is to write it down – writing by hand strengthens the memory more-so than recording things on a keyboard. The process of writing, along with the sense of touching paper and hep aids memory

Easy exercising

We need to stay physically active to be healthy and the simplest way of doing this is to go for a regular walk. It’s free, it’s easy, it’s convenient and it is a low impact activity. This means that you are less likely to cause injury than if you were jogging or running.

For cardiovascular health the faster we walk, the better it is for us and vigorous walking requires about 130 steps per minute so count those steps when you’re out today.

Good luck!


Mayfair, we care.