The Carb Conundrum

In yesterday's post Unrefined Carbohydrates Encourage Weight Loss Dr. Fuhrman stated carbohydrates are an important part of the human diet; calling carbs our body's most needed substance--blasphemy to the carb-fearing pop-culture.

Now, Dr. Fuhrman isn't advocating you run out and devour huge plates of pasta, bread, and sugary drinks. You've got to get your carbs from the right places! Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding refined carbohydrates like white rice and sweets, and getting your carbs from fresh fruits, beans and legumes, whole grains, and root vegetables.

Starchy foods like these will get you the carbs you need and other important nutrients like protein and healthy fat. A new report from KidsHealth.org seems to agree:

Despite the recent craze to cut carbs, the bottom line is that not all foods containing carbohydrates are bad for your child, whether they're complex, as in whole grains, or simple carbohydrates, such as those found in fruits. If carbohydrates were such a no-no, we'd have a huge problem, considering that most foods contain them. But, of course, some carbohydrate foods are healthier than others.

Good sources of carbohydrates include:

  • whole-grain cereals
  • brown rice
  • whole-grain breads
  • fruits
  • vegetables

Bad carbs are ruining it for the right kinds of carbs:

The so-called "bad" carbs - sugar and refined foods - tend to be significant contributors to excess calories. Why? Because they're easy to get our hands on, come in large portions, taste good, and aren't too filling.


People tend to eat more of these refined foods than needed. And, often, foods like colas and candy provide no required nutrients, so we really don't need to eat them at all.

The report goes on to suggest whole grains should serve as our primary source of carbohydrates because they're high in fiber, broken down slowly in the body, and contain more nutrients than refined grains. Of course, Dr. Fuhrman would rather you get most of your calories from fruit and vegetables, which have dramatically more nutrition per calorie. Check out Dr. Fuhrman's food pyramid.

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Joel Fuhrman - June 24, 2006 11:56 AM

Of course, I do not agree with these authorities who suggest our nation's heavily processed "whole grain" cereals" rich in acrylamides and with as much nutritional value as cardboard are healthy. Don't forget the most nutrient-dense carbohydrate with the strongest anti-cancer effects are low-calorie fruits such as berries, kiwis, red grapefruits and pomegrates, not baked and browned grains.

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