Elle Macpherson criticised for her summer weight loss tips: Here's why carbs aren't the devil

21st Jun 18 | Lifestyle

The Australian model has come under fire for a segment on TV called "Cut the carbs."

group of carbohydrate products

Supermodel Elle Macpherson’s nickname is “The Body,” so it’s unsurprising that people are keen to hear her health and diet tips.

On Wednesday she did a segment on This Morning called Elle Macpherson’s Beach Body Secrets, saying: “Summer’s coming up and I too am getting ready for my summer body.”

This idea of having to slim down to be “beach body” ready hasn’t quite resonated with a lot of people.

Macpherson described how she sometimes has a meal replacement shake instead of dinner if she’s had a “strong” breakfast or lunch.

But the segment that was most controversial was called “Cut the carbs”. Here she explained that coming up to summer she will limit bread, rice, cream, “anything white”.

This seems to buy into the idea that before summer you need to have a “No carbs before Marbs” ethos (to use the now-famous phrase from The Only Way Is Essex).

Of course your diet shouldn’t purely consist of carbs, and it’s important to remember that not all are created equal. However, if you want to lead a healthy life with a balanced diet, here’s why you shouldn’t cut them out completely.

They’re a great source of fibre

Gut health is a hot topic nowadays, so you should be pleased to learn that carbs can help your digestion greatly – unless you’ve got IBS or a similar condition, which means you need to be careful with your intake.

Food like brown rice is high in fibre, which can reduce bloating and help your bowels work properly. Even though white rice is stripped of fibre in the milling process, it is still fortified with B vitamins and iron, so it’s hardly all bad news.

They give you energy

As we’re sure you’ve been told time and time again, food is fuel. In order to have the energy to go about your daily life, you need to be eating a balanced diet.

Energy comes from three main types of food – fats, proteins and carbohydrates. And no, if you eat just fats and proteins, you won’t have the optimum amount of energy – you need a mix of all three, and what ratio you prefer depends on how your body feels.

Carbs are particularly necessary for anyone who exercises, because they break down into sugars in your body. These are absorbed and used as energy, making it the most accessible form you can get. Why do you think that runners tend to have a big bowl of pasta the night before a race?

They make you happy

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Sure, things like white bread and pizza might not have the highest nutritional value in the world, but if you get pleasure eating them every so often, you shouldn’t feel ashamed. Instead, you should feel happy about the food’s ability to power your body and bring you a little bit of joy in the process.

There’s actually some science behind this – many carbohydrates contain tryptophan, which helps your body release the happiness hormone seratonin.

Yes, that means that eating a bowl of spaghetti will scientifically make you happier, so that seems as good a reason as any to enjoy carbs. And guess what, you can still enjoy the beach too.

We have contacted Elle Macpherson for comment.

© Press Association 2018