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Carbohydrates Important in a Healthy Diet

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Chances are, that with the overwhelming popularity of low-carb diets, that if you are trying to lose weight, you have tried at least one of the low-carb diets that are available. And if you are looking for dramatic results quickly, the low-carb diets deliver. However, many Americans are also becoming aware that there is a downside to the low-carb / no-carb diets. It can be hard to give up certain food groups completely, and new studies are showing that long-term low carb diets can really have a negative impact on overall health.

Maybe you have had some success with getting your weight off with a low-carb diet plan and are now ready to introduce some carbohydrates back into your diet, without risking gaining the pounds back. As we look to find the right diet to support a healthy weight, there is a way to fit carbs in without the negative effects. It is simply a matter of learning the right carbohydrates from the wrong ones.

One of the most encouraging aspects of the low-carb weight loss programs is that they really do help people lose weight. Whenever someone who is overweight can take the excess weight off, it will have positive effects on their overall health. In many cases, with reduced weight comes reduced cholesterol and blood pressure, which are some serious concerns of overweight people. However, when we lose weight by eliminating entire food groups, there are other risks that become important to consider. There are some possible risks to consider when on a long term low-carb diet.

One of these possible risks has to do with the fact that low-carb diets are high in saturated fats and red meats, which can increase your risk of getting heart disease. While there are current studies still looking at the long-term benefits and risks of the low-carb craze, many health care professionals believe that it is not so much about eliminating all carbohydrates, it’s about eliminating the bad carbohydrates.

It is an error in thinking to think that we should not have any carbohydrates in our diets. Carbohydrates are in fact an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. Carbohydrates provide the body with the fuel it needs for physical activity and for proper organ function. Carbohydrates come from a wide array of foods - bread, beans, milk, popcorn, potatoes, cookies, spaghetti, corn, and birthday cake. They also come in a variety of forms. The most common and abundant are sugars, fibers, and starches.

A New Carb-Rating System: While it used to be that carbohydrates were broken simply into two groups, simple and complex, the new system for rating carbohydrates is the glycemic index. This new system measures how fast and how far blood sugar rises after you eat a food that contains carbohydrates. White bread is considered to be a high glycemic food because it converts almost immediately to blood sugar, which is harder for the body to break down. Brown rice, on the other hand, has a low glycemic index, because it is digested more slowly, causing a slower change in blood sugar.

When you pay attention to the glycemic index, you will probably be able to tell which foods are high in glycemic index, and which foods have a low glycemic index. It comes back to common sense. Candies, sodas, white breads, potatoes, French fries, and white rice will all have a high glycemic index, meaning that they convert almost immediately to blood sugar. Whole grain foods, vegetables (except potatoes), high fiber fruits and nuts and beans all have a low glycemic index and are slower to convert to blood sugar, making it easier for the body to use them for energy.

Some other things to be aware of when deciding which carbohydrates are the following:

Fiber content: Fiber shields the starchy carbohydrates in food immediate and rapid attack by digestive enzymes. This slows the release of sugar molecules into the bloodstream.

Ripeness: Ripe fruits and vegetables tend to have more sugar than unripe ones, and so tend to have a higher glycemic index.

Type of starch: Starch comes in many different configurations. Some are easier to break into sugar molecules than others. The starch in potatoes, for example, is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream relatively quickly.

Fat content and acid content: The more fat or acid a food contains, the slower its carbohydrates are converted to sugar and absorbed into the bloodstream.

Physical form: Finely ground grain is more rapidly digested, and so has a higher glycemic index, than more coarsely ground grain.

It can’t be repeated enough that eating too much of any one food, no matter what is contains, will at some point have a negative overall affect on weight. This is why a diet that contains foods that come from both plants and animals is ideal. If you have reached your ideal weight on a low-carb diet and are looking to move into a maintenance phase or are concerned about the possible long-term effects of a low-carb diet, then make the decision to learn about which carbohydrates will support a healthy weight.

Natural Support for Using Carbohydrates: Since we know that carbohydrates are important for energy and to assist with organ function, we know that it is important to make them part of our diet. However, unless we always include the right type of carbohydrates, their place in our diet can have a negative affect on our weight. Some carbohydrates, such as those in white breads, cookies, French fries and sodas are hard for the body to process because they convert so quickly into sugar. This sugar is dumped into the blood stream and your body is forced to pull it out of your blood and store it. So maintaining your blood sugar levels is important to overall healthy weight management.

Maybe you have decided to incorporate carbohydrates back into your diet after using a low-carb diet to lose weight. If so, your body may need help properly using the carbohydrates. The best solution we have found is OxyCellZyme, specifically formulated for efficient digestion of carbohydrates.

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