Get the Good Carbs for Optimum Nutrition

June/July 2006
http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/get-the-good-carbs-for-optimum-nutrition.aspx



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The rates of diabetes and obesity are rising rapidly in the United States. Although many factors can contribute to these problems, good nutrition is essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Carbohydrates are essential for balanced nutrition, so it's important to consider how many and what type of carbohydrates you eat.

People should get about 50 percent of their calories from carbohydrates. The carbs you need are complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, which offer valuable nutrients and fiber.

Fiber increases digestion time, thus slowing glucose absorption from the intestines, and lowers both cholesterol and blood sugar. Furthermore, whole grains help the body become more responsive to insulin. Try to eat 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day consisting of whole grains ? whole-wheat rather than white bread, brown rather than white rice ? and experiment with alternative grains such as whole oats, barley and bulgur. Another good source of fiber is beans, which provide about 7 grams of fiber per serving. You should eat at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables, and avoid simple carbohydrates (candy) and refined carbohydrates (white bread), which provide mostly 'empty' calories and contain almost no fiber.

For more information on better food choices, visit the Real Food Page on MotherEarthNews.com.