Sunday, September 13, 2020

Changing carb quality improves risk factors for heart disease

The Study 

The quality of carbohydrates we eat has been a very hot topic in nutrition research for some time. In this fascinating study, over 5,000 overweight Spanish adults worked to improve their carbohydrate choices from less healthy sources (such as refined cereals, sugar and soda) to more healthy sources (such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains). The results were impressive. After 6 months of these changes, body weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, and triglyceride levels all improved significantly. After 12 months, HDL cholesterol also improved. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2020; 111:291-306. 

Take Home Message

The carbohydrates you choose can have a major impact on your weight, energy, mood and health. Shoot for healthy sources like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and other legumes. Limit bread, pasta, white rice and sugar. It is also a good idea to have a moderate percentage of carbs in your diet. Somewhere around 40-50% is a nice goal, especially if you round out the difference with 20-25% lean proteins and 30-35% healthy vegetable based fats.

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