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Be Carb Smart!
1. Most health experts think American’s eat too much refined grain foods.
That’s white flour and sugar in many forms. Try eating more whole grain
every day this week – try for 3 a day!
2. Sugar Rush or staying power? Too much sugar can lead to a hungry crash
later. Limit sugars: Count the teaspoons of sugar in your day!
4 grams of sugar is 1 teaspoon (don’t count fresh fruit)
3. Grain portions have gone over the top: It’s not unusual to be served 3
cups of pasta in a restaurant – that’s 6 servings! Do you really know how
much you are eating? Measure your portions to get it right.
Other “Tool Kit” resources at:
Questions or concerns? Call us at: 704.355.8136 option 3 or email
[email protected]
What to eat to lose weight
Carbohydrate FAQs
What is a carbohydrate?
Carbohydrates are one of three
macronutrients: carbohydrate,
protein and fat. They provide
most of the energy needed in
our daily lives, both for normal
body functions such as heartbeat, breathing and digestion
and for physical activity.
Which foods contain
• Grains
• Fruits
• Vegetables
• Beans and legumes
• Dairy products
• Sugars
Do I need carbs?
High-carbohydrate foods are
the best and sometimes only
food sources of many essential
nutrients, including:
• Fiber
• Vitamins C & E
• The majority of B vitamins
• Carotenoids and other beneficial phytochemicals
• Potassium
• The majority of trace minerals
A diet that is low in or deficient
in any of these nutrients leads
to many health problems, including increased risk
for osteoporosis, high
blood pressure and
heart disease.
Are high-carbohydrate diets
Not necessarily. Obesity is uncommon in Asia where most
people eat a very-high-carbohydrate diet. But not all high-carbohydrate foods are created
equal. Some, such as whole
grains, potatoes, fruits and vegetables, actually help you eat
fewer calories without hunger.
What should I eat if I want
to lose weight?
• You should eat more fruits
and vegetables, especially
nonstarchy vegetables like lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes and
• You should also try to eat
grains that are in a more
whole, unprocessed state like
the ones listed in the “skinny”
carb list.
• Get 3 servings of nonfat milk
or yogurt for calcium.
• Choose high-protein foods
that are good for your heart,
like beans, nuts (go easy on
these since they are high in
fat), fish and white poultry
without the skin. If you eat
meat, choose lean cuts and
limit portions to 3 ounces or
less. Prepare all food with
minimal fat.
Not All Carbs Are Created
Take a look at our lists below.
The numbers on the right are a
way of measuing the density of
calories in a food by showing
how much each food contains
per pound. Nonstarchy vegetables, such as lettuce, tomatoes
and carrots, are the lowest in
calories while foods that contain white flour, sugar and fat,
such as cookies, are the highest.
“Skinny” Carbohydrates:
Vegetables, nonstarchy 195
Skim milk
Hot cereals
Brown rice
Potatoes, yams
Whole-wheat spaghetti 562
Calorie-Dense Foods:
These include foods that are
high in sugar, refined grains
and/or fat.
Ice cream
French fries
Cake with frosting
Sweetened dry cereal 1,701
Baked potato chips
Potato chips
© Food & Health Communications
Not All Carbs Are Created Equal
igher-fiber carbs, such as whole
grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables
may help you eat fewer calories.
These are very desirable for those choosing to
control their weight and better their health.
They are also the major food groups from
MyPyramid and are emphasized in the Dietary
Guidelines for Americans so you can get adequate nutrients in calories allotted.
But refined carbs and foods, like cookies,
crackers, cake, sugary foods, donuts, coffee
cakes, muffins, waffles, pancakes, packaged
sweet cereals, packaged snack treats and chips,
all make it easy to eat too many calories.
Refined carbohydrate foods: Foods that
have been processed from whole ingredients.
Examples include sugar and flour and foods
made with these ingredients. Refined foods
usually lose fiber and important nutrients. For
example, white flour is a refined food made
from whole wheat kernels. Sugar is a refined
food made from sugar cane.
Refining foods increases palatability and
calorie density. Palatability and calorie density
make it much easier to eat too many calories.
• Did you know that it takes 2,000 pounds of
sugar cane to make about 192 pounds of
raw sugar. It is very easy to eat 100 calories of sugar. But very difficult to eat that
amount from the sugar cane itself. (We
would liken that to eating bamboo!)
• Compare grain products:
- 8 ounces (1 cup) cooked whole wheat
cereal = 149 calories
- 8 ounces French bread: 403 calories
- 8 ounces cookies: 1020 calories.
The more you refine foods and add sugars
and fats to them, the more palatable and high in
calories they become. Unfortunately for so
many, the more irresistable they also become!
Whole plant foods: Minimally processed
foods from plants that are in their whole, nearnatural state. These are generally lower in calories, higher in fiber, and higher in nutrients than
their refined counterparts. Examples of whole
foods are fruits, vegetables, beans or legumes,
and whole grains.
They are generally less palatable so you
won’t tend to overeat them. Plus, whole foods
are more satiating; that is, you feel more full on
fewer calories.
• Compare potato foods:
- 4 ounces baked potato = 82 calories
- 4 ounces French fries = 348 calories
- 4 ounces potato chips = 608 calories
• Fresh peaches contain 38 calories while the
same amount of canned peaches in heavy
syrup contain 73 calories - almost double!
• A 5-ounce apple contains 73 calories. A 5ounce slice of apple pie contains 389 calories.
People who lost 30 or more pounds and kept
it off long term (more than 1-2 years) consumed a high-fiber, lowfat diet and exercised
regularly. Source: National Weight Control
Registry study
© Food & Health Communications