WHAT THE RESEARCH SAYS
It’s no secret that heart disease is a serious problem. In fact, 1 in 4 deaths in the U.S results from cardiovascular disease. The issue is even more common among adults with type 2 diabetes and other pre-existing conditions. While past studies have suggested that consuming too much fat and dietary cholesterol increases people’s heart attack risk, scientists today suspect that this research may be flawed. For example, a 1961 report by the American Heart Association revealing a correlation between fatty diets and heart problems failed to include a clinical trial. And trials conducted by the National Institutes of Health contained inherent flaws.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CARBS
People often think of carbohydrates as being harmful to your health. However, that’s largely because, when people talk about eating carbs, they imagine foods like donuts, bagels, cookies, and cake. These simple carbs enter the bloodstream immediately, resulting in a blood sugar spike. In this sense, simple carbs are no different from sugar. When we overindulge in simple carbs, we put ourselves at risk for an array of negative health effects, including inflammation, heart disease, and even cancer. Additionally, eating too many refined carbs can lead to weight gain due to the frequent spikes and drops in blood sugar.
It’s important to note that complex carbs have an entirely different effect on the body. Featuring longer chains of carbon, these carbs are broken down more slowly. As a result, the bloodstream doesn’t get an immediate influx of sugar. Complex carbs that are beneficial to our health include milk, whole grains, fruits, and veggies.
Clearly, consuming a healthy diet means including at least some amount of carbohydrates. The key is to be mindful of the types of carbs we’re eating and evaluate what portion of your diet should be composed of carbs, protein, and fat respectively.