Tag Archives: carbohydrates

Moderate carbohydrate intake may be best for health – The Lancet

Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with proteins and fats from plant sources associated with lower risk of mortality compared to those that replace carbohydrates with proteins and fat from animal sources.

Eating carbohydrates in moderation seems to be optimal for health and longevity, suggests new research published in The Lancet Public Health journal.

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The observational study of more than 15,400 people from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) in the USA found that diets both low (< 40% energy) and high (>70% energy) in carbohydrates were linked with an increase in mortality, while moderate consumers of carbohydrates (50-55% of energy) had the lowest risk of mortality.

The primary findings, confirmed in a meta-analysis of studies on carbohydrate intake including more than 432,000 people from over 20 countries, also suggest that not all low-carbohydrate diets appear equal–eating more animal-based proteins and fats from foods like beef, lamb, pork, chicken and cheese instead of carbohydrate was associated with a greater risk of mortality. Alternatively, eating more plant-based proteins and fats from foods such as vegetables, legumes, and nuts was linked to lower mortality.

“We need to look really carefully at what are the healthy compounds in diets that provide protection”, says Dr Sara Seidelmann, Clinical and Research Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, USA who led the research.

“Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight loss strategy. However, our data suggests that animal-based low carbohydrate diets, which are prevalent in North America and Europe, might be associated with shorter overall life span and should be discouraged. Instead, if one chooses to follow a low carbohydrate diet, then exchanging carbohydrates for more plant-based fats and proteins might actually promote healthy ageing in the long term.” Continue reading

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5 Carbs You Shouldn’t Stop Eating

This is a good companion post to the infographic I published on good carbs vs. bad carbs previously. Tony

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If you’ve ever been on a diet you’re well aware of the forbidden fruit known as “carbs.” Carbohydrates are the essence your body takes from food to create energy. Your body has two ways of doing this:

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Good Carbs vs. Bad Carbs – Infographic

Here is yet another infographic I found that is loaded with good info.

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The list of good carbs includes while grain breads, bran cereals, green vegetables and fresh fruits. The bad carbs: candy and desserts, sugared cereals, sodas and sugary drinks and refined breads.


For more details on Carbs check out 5 Carbs You Shouldn’t Stop Eating

Tony

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Should We Cut Carbohydrates to Lose Weight?

“Carbs are fattening – cut down on them” is another of the popular food myths. Many people think that by reducing their carbohydrate consumption they will lose weight.

Not true, according to Erin McCarthy, MS. RD, LDN, professional dietician at the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

McCarthy said that no matter what food group you choose, if you cut out the items from that group, you will reduce your caloric intake and lose weight.
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So, cutting down on carbs is not necessarily the way to go if you want to lose weight.

Back when I first started writing this blog, I took a course called Nutrition Made Clear from the Great Courses.

It was taught by Professor Roberta Anding, registered dietician and a certified specialist in sports dietetics.

Professor Anding said that carbohydrate is a maligned nutrient. She considers it a nutritional powerhouse.

“It is the exclusive fuel of the central nervous system, your brain and for exercising muscle.”

It is necessary for both brain and muscle function. She considers carbohydrates central to our human physiology.

“For most of us, Carbohydrates should account for about 50 percent of our diets,” Anding said.

The functions of carbohydrates to provide energy. “folks on a low carbohydrate diet are irritable, fatigued and lethargic….” and the reason is that they have eliminated a major source of energy.

One further function of carbohydrates is that they protect proteins which are used for building our muscles and tissues. If we are low on carbohydrates, the body will burn protein for energy. Ironically, it is protein and not fat that is taken by the body when carbs are low. The liver is able to convert protein into carbohydrates, but not fat.

So, as always, the answer is balance. Cut out extra calories, but don’t distort the basic nutrients. Try to eat a balanced diet. I have written repeatedly about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. You can read further by typing Mediterranean Diet into the search box at the right.

Tony

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Filed under body fat, carbohydrates, health, healthy eating, healthy living, nutrition, Weight

Two Super Diet Tips from Harvard

I write about healthy eating all the time. Also, most folks think about what they are eating – to some extent. But, we have 60 percent of us overweight and 30 percent obese. Another 10 percent has Type 2 diabetes, a preventable and ruinous disease that stems from inactivity and poor nutrition. Obviously, we need help with our eating, whether routine or on a special diet.harvardlogo

Harvard Medical School offered the following two tips:

“To really optimize your diet, keep these two additional tips in mind.
1.    Limit liquid sugars. Soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages can deliver up to 12 teaspoons of sugar in a single serving, with no other useful nutrients. These beverages offer no health or nutritional benefits. Worse, regular consumption of these drinks can increase your chances of becoming obese or developing diabetes — both of which raise your risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions. Unsweetened coffee or tea or sparkling water are better choices.”

I have written repeatedly about the dangers of sugary as well as diet sodas. Love hearing it backed up by Harvard. Also, regarding the 12 teaspoons of sugar mentioned above. Remember, a teaspoon of sugar amounts to just over four grams. I offer that conversion because the amount of sugar is usually listed  in grams and if you don’t know how many grams in a teaspoon, you might not realize how much sugar you are getting.

That teaspoon of sugar weighs just over 4 grams.

That teaspoon of sugar weighs just over 4 grams.

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