2.16 The Carbohydrate Problem in the U.S.

There is a major problem with the typical American diet in regards to carbohydrates. There are three components to this problem

  • High consumption of simple carbohydrates
  • High consumption of refined carbohydrates
  • Low consumption of healthy carbohydrates

The amount of drinks high in simple carbohydrates that is consumed in the U.S., such as high fructose corn syrup is astonishing. This has been one of the contributors to the development of overweight/obesity and to a lesser degree diabetes. Even childhood obesity rates are rapidly increasing. Many states have proposed taxes drinks that contain high sugar content. Also, studies have shown that up to 80% of items in grocery stores have added simple sugars in them making the problem worse.

White bread, white pasta and other refined carbohydrates (crackers, pretzels, donuts) are consumed in very high quantities as well, which lead to multiple health issues. These are low fiber, high calorie foods with little to no nutritional value.

Remember, carbohydrates are very important in your diet and you should have a HIGH carbohydrate diet, but you need to get your carbohydrates exclusively from whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. A healthy diet is a HIGH carbohydrate diet, they just need to be the right kind of carbohydrate from the right source.

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