One of the major health debates of our times is the Fats vs Carbs debate. Since last 3 decades we were told to avoid fats. It was told to us that fats were the reason behind elevated bad cholesterol levels and increasing heart diseases. However the recent research seems to blaming carbs for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Many people are confused and want to know which way to go? Here is an article by Mayo clinic which talks about carbs and how they affect our health.
Carbohydrates often get a bad rap, especially when it comes to weight gain. But carbohydrates aren’t all bad. Because of their numerous health benefits, carbohydrates have a rightful place in your diet. In fact, your body needs carbohydrates to function well. But some carbohydrates may be better for you than are others. Understand more about carbohydrates and how to choose healthy carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient found in many foods and beverages. Most carbohydrates are naturally occurring in plant-based foods, such as grains. Food manufacturers also add carbohydrates to processed foods in the form of starch or added sugar.
Common sources of naturally occurring carbohydrates include:
Types of carbohydrates
There are three main types of carbohydrates:
- Sugar. Sugar is the simplest form of carbohydrates. Sugar occurs naturally in some foods, including fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products. Sugars include fruit sugar (fructose), table sugar (sucrose) and milk sugar (lactose).
- Starch. Starch is a complex carbohydrate, meaning it is made of many sugar units bonded together. Starch occurs naturally in vegetables, grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.
- Fiber. Fiber also is a complex carbohydrate. Fiber occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.
More carbohydrate terms: Net carbs and glycemic index
Terms such as “low carb” or “net carbs” often appear on product labels, but the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate these terms, so there’s no standard meaning. Typically net carbs is used to mean the amount of carbohydrates in a product excluding fiber or excluding both fiber and sugar alcohols.
You probably have also heard talk about the glycemic index. The glycemic index classifies carbohydrate-containing foods according to their potential to raise your blood sugar level.
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