Wednesday 21 August 2019

Marla Ahlgrimm: Carbohydrates and You

Marla Ahlgrimm

Carbohydrates have a bad reputation, especially among women who want to whittle down their waist. But, Marla Ahlgrimm explains that not all carbohydrates are alike, and the body needs carbs to survive.

Q: What are the different forms of carbohydrates?

Marla Ahlgrimm: There are two forms of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Complex carbohydrates, which includes starches and fibers, are found in healthy foods like whole grains, dried beans, and vegetables. Simple carbohydrates are sugars found in fruits and milk products. Even some vegetables contain some sugars, so it is important to know the nutrient makeup of everything you eat if you are trying to watch your weight or improve your overall health.

Q: What is the difference in a regular carb and a net carb?

Marla Ahlgrimm: The term net carb doesn’t have a standard definition according to the FDA. But it is typically meant to refer to the number of carbohydrates minus fiber in a particular type of food.

Q: How do carbohydrates help the body?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Carbohydrates are the body’s most usable form of fuel and something the brain needs to stay focused and alert. Further, foods like whole grains and fibrous vegetables will help you stay full, and that can go a long way toward ensuring you avoid processed sugars and foods like potato chips. Many fibrous foods, including potatoes, which people often avoid when they are dieting, are actually very healthy when eaten without butter, salt, and other fatty additives.

Q: How many carbohydrates should a woman eat every day?

Marla Ahlgrimm: As with all eating plans, that depends on your activity level and caloric intake. As a general rule, a person who consumes a 2000 calorie diet should eat about half of these in carbohydrates. If your caloric needs are higher or lower, 50% is still a good number to shoot for.


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