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Carbohydrates

Improving Your Diet - The Benefits of Giving Up Refined Sugar

The SAD Diet also known as the Standard American Diet is laden with sugar and refined carbohydrates. Unfortunately, this is what most people in this country consume every day. Well, let's talk about carbohydrates. Are there "good carbs" and "bad carbs"?

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy or fuel in our diets. They can be divided into two groups, simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates are absorbed immediately and give you a sudden burst of energy, which lasts for a short period of time and leaves you craving for more. Simple carbohydrates include sugars such as white sugar, raw sugar, molasses, brown sugar, glucose, fructose and honey. This group includes fruits, fruit juices, sweet snack foods and some vegetables. Simple carbohydrates are those mainly responsible for raising blood sugar and leading to the development of many different disease processes. This group has a great deal to do with the cholesterol problems that exist today.

Complex carbohydrates break down more slowly in the body releasing glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar, which may also be referred to as blood sugar. The body stores excess glucose from our food for times of fasting or famine. It may also spill excess glucose into the urine. Glucose is the main carbohydrate found in our blood. It is so important that every cell in your body depends upon it. Your brain and nervous system depend on glucose for energy.

Complex carbohydrates provide the best fuel for energy that the body needs. They contain fiber. Complex carbohydrates include whole grains such as wheat, corn, and oats. Vegetables, potatoes, and rice are also included in this group. Allergies to some of these foods can result in numerous disorders and affect health tremendously.

Refined carbohydrates are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream resulting in a higher than normal rise in blood glucose levels which is one symptom of diabetes. Most refined carbohydrates will be white in color - white bread, white rice, white pasta. These carbohydrates, as well as the simple carbohydrates, are contributing to many health disorders such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

It does take a bit of knowledge and serious planning to avoid sugar even if you don't eat foods that contain obvious sugar such as cake, candy and soft drinks. Did you know that even mayonnaise and salad dressings can contain refined sugars? Begin to read labels when you go shopping. You will be surprised where you will find sugar. I have also seen sugar listed on the labels of many vitamins supplements. It may be listed as malodextrin, glucose, or dextrose to name a few, but, they will be listed on the label. Refined sugar can weaken the immune system. Does it sound like a good idea for it to be in your vitamins?

 

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