The average American diet, heavy in animal products, requires the production of an extra ton and a half of greenhouse gases compared to a plant based diet.1 A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit and legumes is environmentally responsible and can help maintain a healthy weight.
In recent years, however many diet books have blamed plant foods, which are high in carbohydrates for the obesity crisis. While the theory persists, health care professionals have advised against low-carbohydrate diets for years.
A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that consuming a low-carbohydrate diet (less than 47 percent of calories from carbohydrates) is associated with a greater likelihood of being overweight or obese.2 The July 2009 study found that the lowest risk may be in consuming a diet with 47 to 64 percent of calories from carbohydrates. This was not the first study with these findings.
Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet; they provide energy and are necessary for proper organ function. There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates are created when commercial processing removes the fiber-rich outer hull and bran in whole grains that result in products such as, white rice, white flour, white sugar, white bread, etc.
Simple carbohydrates are absorbed and digested very quickly and spike blood sugar causing a rush of energy followed soon after by a crash. This is an unhealthy outcome.
On the other hand, complex carbohydrates release energy slowly and are found in vegetables, nuts, legumes and grains, such as oatmeal and pasta. Unlike simple carbs, these foods are also high in vitamins and minerals.
Pasta has been criticized in recent years as a leading culprit in the rise of obesity. The fact is that pasta is a healthy carbohydrate and a central component of the Mediterranean diet, widely recommended as an effective regimen for maintaining a healthy weight.
Carbohydrates get a lot of bad press! Carbs have been unjustly labeled a food group to avoid by proponents of the ill-advised Atkins/Paleo style diet.
Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet and ounce for ounce contain fewer calories than either fat or alcohol. Carbohydrates provide energy; they fuel our workouts and provide energy throughout the day. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.
The difference lies in the fact that commercial processing removes the fiber-rich outer hull and bran in products such as, white rice, white flour, white sugar, white bread, etc. These are some of the foods that are classified as ‘simple carbohydrates’
Fiber slows digestion and simple carbohydrates are digested very quickly, spiking blood sugar and causing a rush of energy, invariably followed soon after by a crash.
The plant based lifestyle and its approach to health, wellness and disease prevention is the focus of Marie Oser’s Blog. Marie has been a food and health features writer and newspaper columnist for major metros and national publications and has been promoting the vegan lifestyle since 1990. This blog space is where she and guest bloggers share information, the latest research and creative natural solutions to issues affecting our health and wellbeing. Oh! And of course delicious vegan recipes that are rich in antioxidants, low in fat, high in fiber and entirely dairy and cholesterol free!