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
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