According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the right choice of carbohydrates can boost your health and lower your disease risks. They also tell us that improving what you eat and being active will help to reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and even some cancers. When you understand the good, the bad, and the ugly about carbohydrates, then choosing healthy foods becomes easier.

Every food serving size yields energy, which is measured in calories. Calories are a measure of how much energy you get from a serving size of food.

Caloric Intake minus Calories Expended equals Calories Stored. Excess calories are generally stored as fat. This is evidenced by an expanded waistline or increased weight. The math is straight forward, but the results vary as widely as people do. Although carbs should make up the majority of your calorie intake, there is a need to limit the “bad” carbs, and “ugly” carbs as much as possible. These are refined grains and added sugars since they provide calories but few to no additional nutrients.

Meeting your daily carb requirements with healthy carbs, instead of refined grains and sugars, will help you maintain a healthy body weight and boost your energy level. Examples of nutritious (good) carbs include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, nuts and seeds.

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According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the right choice of carbohydrates can boost your health and lower your disease risks.

Good carbs, healthy carbs, carry the added bonus of dietary fiber. Fiber is a non- digestible carbohydrate which means no added calories. Dietary fiber occurs in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is found in fruits and vegetables and helps material move through the colon more quickly and helps decrease the risk of colon cancer. It also reduces cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grain products that absorb water, such as whole wheat bread. Insoluble fiber satisfies the appetite, making us feel full. It does not lower cholesterol.

Bad Carbs are the added sugars (simple sugars) and syrups that are added when foods or beverages are processed or prepared and make them more appealing. They also can add a lot of calories to the food or beverage. Simple sugars cannot only negatively impact diabetics, but can also cause weight gain and unhealthy fluctuations in the blood sugar of non-diabetics. Sugar is naturally found in certain foods, but the added sugars in recipes and processed foods can be detrimental to your diet. Reducing your dietary intake of added simple sugars, but soda drinkers often consume more sugar from soda than from sweet treats. Switching from regular to diet soda can help resolve some of the health concerns with drinking soda

Commercially added sugars add calories to the food but few or no nutrients. For this reason, the calories from added sugars in a food are often called empty calorie carbs. Empty calories can be found in many popular beverages, snacks and food items that may be staples in your diet. Your break-room vending machine, snack drawer or pantry is probably be loaded with lots of empty calorie carbs. The ugly side of these carbs is not just the empty calories that some carbs can give but what consistent consumption of bad and empty calories do to your body’s health. Their contribution to heart disease, the number one killer in America, obesity, and type 2 diabetes is alarming. Many of the foods and beverages Americans eat and drink contain hundreds of empty calories. Alcoholic beverages are known for empty or non nutritional calories; for example, one glass of table wine contains 121 calories and all 121 of them are empty calories.

Learn to be your best health advocate by avoiding simple sugars can aid in weight loss and improve general health. For weight loss avoiding simple sugars may also reduce a dietary intake of unhealthy fats and sodium without any additional effort. Understanding how to identify overt and hidden sources of and replace them with complex carbohydrates (good carbs) or healthier food choices, you can avoid a substantial portion of simple sugars in your daily diet., Finally, by avoiding products with added (non-natural) sugars should reduce dietary simple sugar enough for most people to allow moderate healthy simple sugar consumption from fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.

Want to Learn More?
Want to learn to be your best health advocate? Start by using the BMI table. Find your BMI at

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