Any of a large group of organic compounds occurring in foods and living tissues and including cellulose, sugars, and starch are defined as carbohydrates. They contain oxygen and hydrogen in the same ratio as water. Numerous roles are performed by carbohydrates in living organisms. Sugars and starch are the most important carbohydrates in human diet. They are contained in a variety of natural and processed foods. Here Allison Aubrey, NPR.org, reflects on the trendy world of carbohydrates:
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“It’s trendy to go low-carb these days, even no carb. And, yes, this can lead to quick weight loss.
But ditching carbs is tough to do over the long haul. For starters, you’re swimming upstream. On average, adults in the U.S. get about 50 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates. And, if you truly cut out all carbs, you’ll have to give up fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans — which are the building blocks of a healthy diet.
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So, why do carbs get such a bad rap? Well, as we discuss in our new Life Kit podcast, a lot of us are choosing the wrong kind of carbs.
“We’ve known for decades that different foods affect the body differently,” says Dr. David Ludwig. He’s a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and the co-director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center Boston Children’s Hospital.
So, let’s compare two carbohydrate-rich foods. If you’re shopping in the bread aisle, you can pick white bread or a whole-grain bread, maybe pumpernickel or rye. They may have about the same number of calories, but the whole grain has a lot more going for it.
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“When you eat a whole-kernel, minimally processed grain … they take a while to digest. Blood sugar rises relatively more gently. You produce less insulin calorie for calorie,” Ludwig explains. Think of whole grains as slow carbs because of this slow digestion. (Other slow carbs include fruits, vegetables, beans and grains.)
Whole grains — which include everything from whole wheat to brown rice to steel-cut oats and farro — are also rich in fiber. A new study published in The Lancet finds that people who eat a diet rich in fiber and whole grains have a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease and colorectal cancer. (For more, we have this primer on whole grains. )
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Here’s what to visualize: When you eat whole grain wheat bread, you’re getting everything that comes in the wheat kernel. This includes the fiber-rich bran. It also includes the germ, which is the embryo of the seed, so it contains everything that’s needed to nurture new life. Think of wheat germ as a little packet of nutrients, including zinc, magnesium and Vitamin E.
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But with white bread, all this good stuff has been stripped out during processing. All that’s left is starch, which is one step away from turning to sugar in your body.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/01/21/686603016/you-dont-have-to-go-no-carb-instead-think-slow-carb
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