To Your Health
October, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 10)
We're Still Eating Too Many Bad Carbs
By Editorial Staff
We may be more aware of carbohydrates and how the right and wrong ones can affect our health – but that doesn't mean we're making the right choices as a society. In fact, research suggests we're still eating too many bad carbs, pure and simple.
For starters, what are "bad" carbohydrates? We're talking about the same culprits as always: white bread and other refined grain products; potato chips / fries; cookies, cakes, pies and most sweets; and a whole laundry list of other processed, nutrient-deficient, carb-heavy foods. If your kids are eating it after school on the couch, there's a good chance it's on the bad carb list.
Now that we're clear on what they are, what does "too many" mean? According to research in the Journal of the American Medical Association, since 1999, Americans are actually consuming fewer carbs and fewer poor carbs – but only slightly. Overall, the average American's diet still boasts nearly 42 percent of calories courtesy of poor carbs, while high-quality carbohydrate consumption (whole grains, brown rice, etc.) remains at less than 9 percent of daily calories.
So, good news in terms of an encouraging trend – but bad news in terms of the continuing reality of our poor (carb) eating habits. Your doctor can tell you more about healthy eating and help you make small changes in your daily meal plans to replace more poor carbs with good ones and ensure you get the full range of macro- and micronutrients in your diet.