Chapter Carbohydrates

Too often Carbohydrates are blamed for weight gain, high blood glucose, and just about anything else wrong in our diet. Also, carbohydrates are discussed without a clear understanding of what they are and the important role Carbohydrates play in our diet. Carbohydrates are not all equal! There are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. There are high glycemic carbohydrates and low glycemic carbohydrates.

A recent large (15,792 participants) study looked at the amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains U.S. adults ate and looked for connections between their diets and the occurrence of certain diseases. Not surprisingly, those people who ate more whole grains had a lower total mortality (they were less likely to die) and a lower risk of heart disease. Those who ate more fruits and vegetables also had a lower total mortality. African-Americans who ate more fruits and vegetables were less likely to have heart disease than other African-Americans, but this association was not seen in whites. Intakes of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables did not seem to affect the risk of stroke. This report provides more support for recommendations to eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables--in other words, a more plant-based diet.

Reference: Steffen LM, Jacobs DR, Jr, Stevens J, et al. 2003. Associations of whole-grain, refined-grain, and fruit and vegetable consumption with risks of all-cause mortality and incident coronary artery disease and ischemic stroke: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Am J Clin Nutr 78:383-90.

Your Heart and Nutrition

Your Heart and Nutrition

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