Carbohydrates are sugars and starches that occur naturally in plants. TNS
“Fruit has carbs? I had no idea,” a stunned patient told me recently.
She’s not the only one who doesn’t have a complete understanding of carbohydrates — the focus of our current craze for low carb foods.
I find that many people who say they “don’t eat carbs” may not really understand what a carb is…and isn’t.
Simply put, carbohydrates are sugars and starches that occur naturally in plants. Carbs are also a natural ingredient in milk as lactose, or milk sugar — the first sweet that babies taste.
Plants convert energy from the sun into sugars (such as fructose in fruit) and starches in grains and beans. Thus, most of the calories in plant foods come from carbohydrates. And we get plenty of added carbs in sweets and treats made with honey, syrups and refined beet and cane sugars.
Carbohydrates are not the boogey man. In fact, they are the most efficient source of energy for muscle, brain and nerve cells.
That’s why current dietary guidelines recommend 45% to 65% of our daily calories come from carbs. Athletes, who need higher amounts of readily available fuel for their hard working muscles, generally ingest carbs at the higher end of this scale.
People with diabetes, who need to avoid excessive amounts of carbs, are often at the lower end.
There is a difference, however, between a low carb diet and a VERY low carb diet. Many of the popular low carb plans allow just 10 to 20% of daily calories from foods such as fruit, grains, vegetables and milk. By default, that means the highest proportion of calories with these diets come from protein or fat.
Our view on extremely low carbohydrate diets is still evolving. Although they are often deficient in major nutrients such as dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin C, many people love these diets.
By virtue of their high protein and fat content, they keep hunger at bay which helps with weight loss. Many studies also report that low carb diets can effectively lower blood sugars and improve other health parameters.
Nutrition-wise, somewhere between the two extremes of very low to very high carbohydrate diets, is where most of us would probably do best.
Moderate amounts of carbs with our meals assures a better balance of nutrients and an adequate supply of dietary fiber — a non-digestible carbohydrate used by the body to feed the healthful bacteria in our guts.
Studies have found that as few as 70 and up to as many as 265 grams of carbs a day can accomplish similar health goals — if we pay attention to the quality of the foods we choose.
Tribune News Service
A number of cancer patients including children of various age groups in Tawam Hospital in Al Ain were visited by Sheikh Dr Saeed Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan and prominent philanthropists and Ambassador of Hope and Happiness Rawd Abdul Kader to share some quality time with them as part of their commitment towards the ‘Year of Tolerance’.
Ministry of Health and Community Protection has issued a circular banning six herbal products being sold on websites.
WHO is helping Palestinians set up a limb reconstruction unit in Nasser hospital in southern Gaza.
The battle against obesity in the UAE is far from over, warn healthcare professionals at Bareen International Hospital in Mohammad Bin Zayed City, Abu Dhabi. With 30% of the world’s population being obese or overweight (according to the World Health Organisation), the figures are more alarming in the Middle East. The prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents ranges from 5% to 14% in males and from 3% to 18% in females. Furthermore, in the UAE for example, obesity levels are as high as 37% of the population.
Climate change is threatening ancient Greek monuments, among them the Acropolis, one of the most-visited archaeological sites in the world, scientists said.
Classical economic theories suggest that the greater the temptation, the less likely we are to be honest -- but a new study turns the idea on its head, finding that altruism, and a powerful aversion to viewing oneself as a "thief," outweigh the financial incentives.
Emalahleni, which means "the place of coal", is among the worst places in the world for pollution by nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, according to Greenpeace.