Transcript resource

Carbohydrates and
© Grain Chain 2016
Introduction to carbohydrate
There are two types of carbohydrate that provide
dietary energy - sugars and starch.
Dietary fibre is also a type of carbohydrate found
almost exclusively in plants, which helps keep the
digestive system healthy.
At least 50% of dietary energy should come from
carbohydrate, mostly as starchy carbohydrates.
Function of carbohydrate
Carbohydrate provides energy – 1g provides
Dietary fibre also provides a small amount of
energy (2kcal/8.4kJ per g).
A constant supply of energy (in the form of glucose)
is needed as fuel for the body’s tissues, including
the brain. Carbohydrate is the main source of
glucose in the diet.
SACN report
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN), a
committee of independent experts that advises the
Government on nutrition issues, published their
report Carbohydrates and Health in July 2015.
The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition was
requested by the government to provide clarification of the
relationship between dietary carbohydrate and health and
make public health recommendations. To achieve this they
– the evidence for a role of dietary carbohydrate in
colorectal health in adults and in childhood;
– the evidence on dietary carbohydrate and cardiometabolic health (including cardiovascular disease, insulin
resistance, glycaemic response and obesity);
– the evidence in respect to dietary carbohydrates and oral
– the terminology, classification and definitions of types of
carbohydrates in the diet.
To access the Carbohydrates and health report click here:
Total Carbohydrate
The dietary reference value for total carbohydrate
should be maintained at an average population intake
of approximately 50% of total dietary energy.
The definition for ‘free sugars’ be adopted in the UK. This
comprises all monosaccharides and disaccharides added to
foods by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, plus sugars
naturally present in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit
juices. Under this definition lactose when naturally present
in milk and milk products is excluded.
The average population intake of free sugars should not
exceed 5% of total dietary energy for age groups from 2
years upwards.
The consumption of sugars-sweetened drinks should be
minimised in children and adults.
PHE, 2015:
Sugars intake
Evidence reviewed in the SACN report indicated
• higher consumption of sugars and sugars containing
food is associated with a greater risk of tooth decay;
• increasing or decreasing total energy (calorie) intake
from sugars leads to a corresponding increase or
decrease in energy intake;
• consumption of sugars-sweetened drinks* results in
greater weight gain and increases in BMI in children
and adolescents;
• greater consumption of sugars-sweetened drinks is
associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Sources of free sugars in 11-18
year olds
Sources of free sugars in 11-18
year olds
SACN also recommended an increase in the
population’s fibre intake to an average of 30g per day
for adults.
For children, the recommended intakes are: 15g/day
(age 2-5); 20g/day (age 5-11); 25g/day (age 11- 16);
30g/day (age 16-18).
The previous recommendation was equivalent to 2324g/day AOAC fibre. No age group in the UK were able
to meet the previous recommendation with average
intakes in adults at around 18g AOAC fibre.
Fibre intake
Evidence reviewed in the SACN report indicated
diets rich in fibre (cereal fibre and wholegrains) are
associated with:
• lower incidence of heart disease and stroke;
• type 2 diabetes;
• colorectal cancer.
Trials have shown diets rich in fibre decrease
intestinal transit times and increase faecal mass.
Sources of fibre in the UK diet
Sources of fibre in the UK diet (Bates et al, 2014)
How can we meet the new
The British Nutrition Foundation undertook some
simple dietary modelling to develop a 7-day menu plan.
This illustrates, in practice, what a diet that meets the
new recommendations of 5% free sugars and 30g AOAC
fibre may look like for adults.
The plan was also modelled to meet energy, other
macronutrient and micronutrient recommendations
over the week and all the current food-based
guidelines, such as 5-A-Day and the inclusion of at least
one portion of oil-rich fish over the week.
How can we meet the new
This modelling demonstrated the new SACN recommendations for dietary
fibre and free sugars are achievable through a balanced, healthy diet
– meals based around starchy foods (mostly wholegrain varieties);
– around eight portions of fruit and vegetables daily;
– water, lower fat milk, unsweetened tea, coffee, herbal and fruit
infusions and ‘no-calorie’, ‘diet’, ‘sugar-free’ or ‘no-added’ sugar
carbonated drinks and squashes
– fibre-rich snacks (including nuts, seeds and dried fruits)
– occasional snacks/desserts with added sugars;
– very few foods high in fat and sugar (either as part of meals or as
– regular inclusion of lower salt options and use of unsaturated oils
(such as rapeseed, olive or sunflower oil) for cooking and dressings;
– low fat spreads, high in unsaturated fats, and lower fat dairy products.
Sample 7 day menu plan
For more information see:
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© Grain Chain 2016