Personal Trainer Ollie explains the importance of slow release carbohydrates

Here at Ollie Lawrence Personal Trainer Manchester we want to help educate as many people as possible in what they are eating and putting in their bodies. With everything we eat normally being a carbohydrate with the exception of meat, it’s important to know the different types of carbohydrates.

Slow-release carbohydrate foods are carbs that are absorbed slowly by the body, and they give the body a more sustainable level of energy. These types of carbs may also be called complex carbs but again slow and complex carbohydrates are the same thing. Slow release carbs keep your blood sugar steady, thus allowing your body to burn fat a lot more effectively when working hard in the gym.

Slow release carbohydrates are highly recommended in Ollie’s Manchester gym, they are basically starchy foods helping in preventing hunger and food cravings, furthermore helping to increase your chances of not developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.  The basic rule for when eating carbs is ‘feel better and stay healthier with slow-release carbohydrates’.

Again you can find out whether a certain food is a fast or slow release carbohydrate now by looking at the nutritional information on the side of any food. It will state carbohydrates, and underneath ‘of which sugar’. Sugar is the fast release carbohydrate within that particular food, everything else will be what we are talking about the slow release starchy carbs, slow release carbs are the good guys.

For more detailed nutrition advice click here for the British Nutrition Foundation.

Whole Grains

One big area of making positive changes to your diet starts with changing all pasta, bread and rice to whole grain. Your body digests whole grains more slowly than refined sugar grains like white pasta, white rice or white bread, which have been stripped of their bran and germ, and fibre.

Whole grains such as barley, oats, brown rice and products made from whole grains, such as whole-wheat breads, bagels, pasta and crackers, and 100 percent bran cereal provide a slower, more sustained source of energy that keeps your blood sugar stable, thus keeping hunger at bay.

Fruits and Vegetables

Most fruits and vegetables are slowly absorbed carbohydrates that have minimal effect on your blood sugar and insulin levels, try to stick to fruits such as apples, pineapple and kiwi. Try to eat dark green alkaline vegetables, such as spinach, kale and broccoli; and orange vegetables full of vitamins and slow release carbohydrates such as butternut squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes.  Whole alkaline fruits are preferable to fruit juice, which is absorbed rapidly due to its lack of fibre and increased sugar.


Not only are beans an excellent source of slow release carbohydrates, they’re also a good source of protein and high in fibre, which slows the digestive process further. Like whole grains, and most fruits and vegetables, beans have a low GI (glycaemic index), this is a measurement that gives information on how a food affects blood sugar and insulin levels, if you have a high GI number then blood sugar levels will rise quickly (fast release carbs). Furthermore if you have low GI levels of food these are slow release carbs and will make you feel fuller for longer. Good examples of slow beans to add to your diet are lentils, black beans, pinto beans and other beans in your diet, make use of slow release carbohydrates for sustained energy and reduced risk of chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

If you’d like some more information or there’s a subject you’d like us to talk about, get in touch with us via our contact form below.

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Ollie Lawrence
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