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Apr/May 2012
50
Carbohydrates
aren’t bad,
but some may be
healthier than others.
See why carbs are
important for your
health and which
ones to choose.
Carbohydrates:
How carbs ft into
a healthy diet
Carbohydrates
aren’t bad, but
some may be
healthier than
others. See why
carbs are important
for your health
and which ones to
choose.
By Mayo Clinic staf
Understanding
carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a type of
macronutrient found in many foods
and beverages
.
Most carbohydrates
are naturally occurring in plant
-
based foods, such as grains
.
Food
manufacturers also add carbohydrates
to processed foods in the form of
starch or added sugar
.
Te most basic
carbohydrate is a sugar molecule,
which joins together one or two units
of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen
.
Other carbohydrates contain three or
more units of the carbon
-
hydrogen
-
oxygen trio
.
Common sources of
naturally occurring
carbohydrates include:
Fruits
Vegetables
Milk
Nuts
Grains
Seeds
Legumes
Types of carbohydrates
There are three main
types of carbohydrates:
Sugar
Sugar is the simplest forms of
carbohydrates
.
Sugar occurs naturally
in some foods,
including fruits,
vegetables, milk and milk products
.
Sugars include fruit sugar
(
fructose
)
,
table sugar
(
sucrose
)
and milk sugar
(
lactose
).
Starch
Starch is made of sugar units
bonded together
.
Starch occurs
naturally in vegetables, grains,
and
cooked dry beans and peas
.
Fiber
Fiber also is made of sugar units
bonded together
.
Fruits, vegetables,
whole grains,
and cooked dry beans
and peas are among foods that are
naturally rich in fber
.
More carbohydrate terms:
Net carbs and glycemic
index
You may see terms such as “low carb” or
“net carbs” on some products, or promoted
by some diet programs
.
But the Food and
Drug Administration doesn’t regulate these
terms, so there’s no standard meaning
.
Net
Carbohydrates ofen get a bad rap,
especially when it comes to weight
gain
.
But carbohydrates aren’t all bad
.
Because of their numerous health
benefts, carbohydrates have a rightful
place in your diet
.
In fact, your body
needs carbohydrates to function well
.
But some carbohydrates may be better
for you than others
.
Understand
more about carbohydrates and how to
choose healthy carbohydrates
.