New way to think about carbs

Published 3:22 pm Friday, October 8, 2010

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 thats great, because these refined goodies are devoid of nutrients. They are also, many times, inundated with saturated and transfats. However, with all this being known, dont give up on the good carbs. Eating good or unrefined carbs like whole grains, can help fight off two diseases.

One study at Tufts University found that people who consumed three servings of whole grain a day were 33% less likely to experience metabolic syndrome, than those who had one serving or less per week. Metabolic syndrome is a condition whose features include hypertension (high blood pressure), insulin resistance, cholesterol abnormalities, and a risk for clotting.

Metabolic syndrome is a huge risk factor for heart disease and diabetes. Also, this condition is quite common. Its 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%.

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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. In other words, the glycemic index measures how fast a food increases your blood sugar, and the glycemic load measures the blood sugar raising power of food per serving. Some fruits with a glycemic load of 19 or less include bananas, cantaloupe, oranges, peaches, watermelon, and pears. Beans in this category include chickpeas, black, kidney, and soy beans, blackeye peas, and lentils. Vegetables include carrots, asparagus, green peas, spinach, cabbage, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. Grains include brown rice, pumpernickel, and whole wheat breads. My advice is to consult a glycemic load chart, because there are other foods that fall into the 19 or less glycemic load category.

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David Crocker of Landrum has served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., strength coach, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team,

USC-Spartanburg baseball team, and Converse college equestrian team. He taught four semesters at USC-Union. David is also a regular guest of the Pam Stone Show. David also served as lead trainer to L.H.Fields Modeling Agency.