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March 3, 2012 recognise-those-good-carbs-and-bad-carbs1

Nutrition in the food consumed daily is often ignored, do you know the difference between a sandwich made from a white bread and one made with 100% whole grain bread? Or the nutritional difference between your favorite French fries and a potato vegetable?

The difference to both the questions lies between good and bad carbohydrates. The second option in both the questions includes foods with good carbohydrates like whole green vegetables and grains.

What exactly can good or bad carbohydrates do for you?

Carbs have gained a mixed reputation of both being bad and good for your workout regime. Some have even gone to an extent of completely shunning it from their diet which however is a wrong practice. The fact of the matter is that carbohydrates are both good and bad in nature and once understood you too can differentiate between the two.

Good carbs slowly but efficiently are absorbed by the body, and avoid any increase in the blood sugar levels. Various health risks of bad carbs can be nullified by decreasing the intake of refined and processed carbohydrates. Bad carbs such as white rice and white bread wane away all the beneficial fiber.

The National Academies Institute of Medicine in 2002 recommended that a person should include more good carbs and fiber in his diet. The report stated the following:

1. To adequately meet the body’s requirement and to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, an average adult should obtain 45% to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 10% to 35% from protein and 20% to 35% from fat.

2. The most prominent source to get fiber is through plants. Fresh fruits and vegetables are loaded with fiber content and are also good sources of healthy carbohydrates.

3. According to the study, high fiber diets have shown a remarkable decrease in the risk of heart disease. There also has been some proof to suggest that a diet rich in fiber will aid in preventing colon cancer and promote weight control.

4. Men and women aged 50 or younger should get 38 grams and 25 grams of fiber a day respectively.

5. As we age the requirement of calories decrease so for men and women who are above 50 years of age the adequate dosage should be 30 grams and 21 grams respectively.

Foods with good and bad carbs:

1. Good Carbs: The easiest way to make sure about the content of good carb in a food item is through its fiber content. They not only deliver fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals but also grams of carbohydrate. Some of the rich sources are: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and beans.

2. Bad carbs: Sugar consumption is the biggest reason of increased calorie intake among the people. These bad carbs quickly supply energy to the body in the form of glucose unlike the good carbs that contain natural sugars like fructose or lactose milk. Some of the sources of bad carbs that you should avoid are: Added sugars, Sugars, refined white grains, enriched pasta, processed food like cakes, candies and chips, white potatoes, sweetened soft drinks.

Keep a track of the amount of good/bad carbs that you are consuming daily and then plan out your diet to make the good better and the bad out of your way.

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