Don’t toss aside good carbs

Published 11:35am Saturday, December 22, 2012

The trend in America over the last few years has been to cut down, or swear off all together, the consumption of refined flour, cakes, pies, cookies and the sort. And that’s great, because these refined goodies are mostly devoid of nutrients.

These items are also many times inundated with saturated and trans fats. However, with all this in mind, make sure you aren’t also giving up on the good carbs. Eating good or “unrefined” carbs like whole grains can help fight off disease.

One study at Tufts University found that those who consumed three servings of whole grains a day were 33 percent less likely to experience metabolic syndrome than those who had one serving or less per week. Metabolic syndrome is a condition that includes hypertension (high blood pressure), insulin resistance, cholesterol abnormalities and increased risk for clotting. Metabolic syndrome is a huge risk factor for heart disease and diabetes. Also, this condition is quite common. It’s estimated that in the U.S. alone, 50-75 million are affected by this occurrence. Most but not all of those who have metabolic syndrome are overweight or obese. In fact, one study showed that adults who continue to gain five or more pounds a year, raise their risk for developing metabolic syndrome by up to 45 percent. Eating more good carbohydrates can help stave off this condition. I recommend introducing carbohydrates that have a “glycemic load” of 19 or less. The glycemic load is a ranking system for carbohydrate content in foods, based on their glycemic index.

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