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Carbohydrates: How carbs fit into a healthy diet: Marketese Translated

November 2020

I recently read an article on carbohydrates on the Mayo Clinic website that I though it was slightly confusing because of all the synonyms used for the word sugar, so I made a simple change to it. 

 

I only changed ONE thing in the original article. Where there is a synonym for sugar, I write the words sugar or sugars.  This is based on how they describe carbs in the article as seen in the image below.

Removing all synonyms makes the article less confusing and easier to understand.  Please read the article and let me know in the comments below if you think it's easier to understand than the original article.

Sugar: How sugar fits into a healthy diet

 

Sugars aren't bad, but some may be healthier than others. See why sugars are important for your health and which ones to choose.

 

Original Article from Mayo Clinic Staff

 

Sugars often get a bad rap, especially when it comes to weight gain. But sugars aren't all bad.

 

Because of their numerous health benefits, sugars have a rightful place in your diet. In fact, your body needs sugar to function well.

 

But some sugars might be better for you than others. Understand more about sugars and how to choose healthy sugars.

 

Understanding sugars

 

Sugars are a type of macronutrient found in many foods and beverages. Most sugars occur naturally in plant-based foods, such as grains. Food manufacturers also add sugars to processed foods in the form of sugars.

 

Common sources of naturally occurring sugars include:

  • Fruits

  • Vegetables

  • Milk

  • Nuts

  • Grains

  • Seeds

  • Legumes

Types of sugars

 

There are three main types of sugars:

  • Sugar. Sugar is the simplest form of sugar and occurs naturally in some foods, including fruits, vegetables, milk and milk products. Types of sugar include fruit sugar (fructose), table sugar (sucrose) and milk sugar (lactose).

  • Starch. Starch is a complex sugar, meaning it is made of many sugars, units bonded together. Starch occurs naturally in vegetables, grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.

  • Fiber. Fiber also is a complex sugar. It occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and cooked dry beans and peas.

More sugar terms: Net sugar and glycemic index

 

Terms such as "low sugar" or "net sugar" often appear on product labels. But the Food and Drug Administration doesn't regulate these terms, so there's no standard meaning. Typically "net sugar" is used to mean the amount of sugar in a product excluding fiber, or excluding both fiber and sugar alcohols.

 

You probably have also heard talk about the glycemic index. The glycemic index classifies sugar containing foods according to their potential to raise your blood sugar level.

 

Weight-loss diets based on the glycemic index typically recommend limiting foods that are higher on the glycemic index. Foods with a relatively high glycemic index ranking include potatoes and white bread, and less healthy options such as snack foods and desserts that contain refined flours.

 

Many healthy foods, such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products, are naturally lower on the glycemic index.

 

How many sugars do you need?

 

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that sugar make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories.

 

So, if you get 2,000 calories a day, between 900 and 1,300 calories should be from sugar. That translates to between 225 and 325 grams of sugar a day.

 

225 and 325 grams of sugar is equivalent to 1.1 to 1.6 cups of sugar.

 

You can find the sugar content of packaged foods on the Nutrition Facts label. The label shows total sugar — which includes starches, fiber, sugar alcohols, and naturally occurring sugars. The label might also list separately total fiber, soluble fiber and sugar.

 

Sugar and your health

 

Despite their bad rap, sugars are vital to your health for a number of reasons.

 

Providing energy

 

Sugars are your body's main fuel source. During digestion, sugars and starches are broken down into simple sugars. Thedy're then absorbed into your bloodstream, where they're known as blood sugar (blood glucose).

 

From there, sugar enters your body's cells with the help of insulin. Sugar is used by your body for energy, and fuels all of your activities — whether it's going for a jog or simply breathing. Extra sugar is stored in your liver, muscles and other cells for later use, or is converted to fat.

 

Protecting against disease

 

Some evidence suggests that whole grains and dietary fiber from whole foods help reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Fiber may also protect against obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is also essential for optimal digestive health.

 

Controlling weight

 

Evidence shows that eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains can help you control your weight. Their bulk and fiber content aids weight control by helping you feel full on fewer calories. Contrary to what low-sugar diets claim, very few studies show that a diet rich in healthy sugar leads to weight gain or obesity.

 

(How many studies do we need that PROVE that high sugar diets lead to weight gain or obesity)

 

Choose your sugars wisely

 

Sugars are an essential part of a healthy diet, and provide many important nutrients. Still, not all sugars are created equal.

 

Here's how to make healthy sugars work in a balanced diet: 

  • Emphasize fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Aim for whole fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables without sugar. Other options are fruit juices and dried fruits, which are concentrated sources of sugar and therefore have more calories. Whole fruits and vegetables also add fiber, water and bulk, which help you feel fuller on fewer calories.

  • Choose whole grains. Whole grains are better sources than refined grains of fiber and other important nutrients, such as B vitamins. Refined grains go through a process that strips out parts of the grain — along with some of the nutrients and fiber.

  • Stick to low-fat dairy products. Milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products are good sources of calcium and protein, plus many other vitamins and minerals. Consider the low-fat versions, to help limit calories and saturated fat. And beware of dairy products that have sugar.

  • Eat more legumes. Legumes — which include beans, peas and lentils — are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available. They are typically low in fat and high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium, and they contain beneficial fats and fiber. Legumes are a good source of protein and can be a healthy substitute for meat, which has more saturated fat and cholesterol.

  • Limit sugar. Sugar probably isn't harmful in small amounts. But there's no health advantage to consuming any amount of sugar. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that less than 10 percent of calories you consume every day come from sugar.

Less than 10 percent equals less than 50 grams or 0.25 cups of sugar.

 

So choose your sugars wisely. Limit foods with sugar and refined grains, such as sugary drinks, desserts and candy, which are packed with calories but low in nutrition. Instead, go for fruits, vegetables and whole grains which have plenty of sugar. 

Final Thoughts​​

No one but you is in control of what you eat, drink or do every day. Do your own research starting and find out what works for you and is safe and enjoyable.  I wish you health and happiness.  

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Melissa Scott - Health & Travel Blogger

Travel Enthusiast and writer for What we found out Blog.  Go where you're going to enjoy yourself and ONLY eat the food you love!


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