It may sound obvious however, table sugar is a pure refined carbohydrate. It provides lots of energy but practically no additional nutrients. Sugar is essential empty calories and should be kept to a minimum in your diet.
Although these may be useful during endurance based exercise, sweets and sports drinks are simply derivatives of refined sugar and should be avoided away from exercise. They also contain very little nutritional value.
Cereals are an extremely popular way to start the day. Some are marketed as “whole grain” and therefore are perceived to be healthy. However, sugary cereals such as Coco Pops and Crunchy Nut Cornflakes contain over 90% carbohydrate and will have a large impact on blood sugar levels.
You may not be surprised that many cakes and biscuits contain up to 85% carbohydrate. Depending on the product, if they are marketed as low-fat, it’s likely that it contains more sugar, and therefore carbohydrate, to improve taste. The best way to discover exactly what goes into your sweet treats is to roll up your sleeves and give baking a go. The BBC Good Food website provides many simple recipes for a variety of cakes and biscuits.
Dried fruits such as raisins, apricots and banana chips are high in carbohydrates and contain some vitamins and minerals. If fruit is dried using preservatives it becomes increasingly unhealthy. You are far better off eating fresh fruit.