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  • Writer's pictureElaine Anderson RD

How adequate carbohydrates can influence your focus at work

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

There are many diets out there that claim to help you achieve your goals or lose a few pounds quickly. The problem with these ‘diets’ is they may lack vital nutrients such as carbohydrates that can lead to problems with your concentration.

Carbohydrates are an important source of brain fuel. They also prevent protein from being used as an energy source. They help us concentrate, focus on our work and maximise productivity.

Many celebrities are following these ‘fad’ diets but remember they have personal assistants in every area of their lives so optimal memory and brain function may not be required for them to be on top of their game!

If we eat too little carbohydrate this can also impact our gut health and lead to constipation. This in turn can effect our energy levels and make us feel sluggish throughout the day.

The best types of carbohydrates are those that have a low glycaemic index. This means their energy is released more slowly over the day. There is also some evidence to suggest that they can help to control appetite.

These foods include:

- Multigrain, granary, rye and seeded bread

- Wholegrain cereals such as porridge and museli

- Pasta cooked al dente

- Sweet potatoes, yam, new potatoes with skin

- Basmati rice and brown rice

- Bulgur wheat, barley, couscous and quinoa

If you are worried about weight gain and carbohydrates it's important to watch your portion sizes.

One portion is:

  • One medium slice of bread

  • 2-3 tablespoons of pasta (boiled)

  • 2-3 tablespoons of rice (boiled)

  • Two egg sized new potatoes (boiled)

  • One medium baked potato (with skin)

  • 3 tablespoons of breakfast cereal

  • 3 tablespoons of porridge oats

I love this handy portion size guide from the British Heart Foundation --->

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