In times past, it was shocking to hear the statistics of American obesity rates. But now, with well over 65% percent who are overweight and a significant number of those being obese, it is no longer shocking, but instead is troublesome. Many blame carbohydrates as the main problem flaming today’s weight problems.
Diets based on a low carb theme are not getting the long term results that many hoped for. The typical American eats around the recommended amount of carbs according to government studies. The problem comes from the kind of carbohydrates most Americans eat.
It is necessary for you to consume at least one hundred thirty grams of carbs or brain function is affected. Because that amount is the minimum needed before your health is affected, it is not recommended that you drop to that amount. Since we most commonly consume about 50% of our calories by carbs, it amounts to an average of 275 grams of carbs in a typical diet. This is well with-in a reasonable amount.
If you are not eating too many carbs, then what is the problem? The problems come from the type of carbohydrates you are choosing to consume. When you eat chips and fried potatoes or white bread and so on, it is very different than when you eat whole wheat or rye, or a baked potato with steamed carrots and broccoli.
The kind of carbs people are consuming are indeed a big part of the problem, but not the only one. Another of the big items we should not be consuming as much of is sugar. A healthy diet would not contain more than about 50 grams of sugar daily. A single can of soda contains more than half that amount and many drink more than one can a day. Then on top of that is the sugar that is added to our cereal, bread, sports drinks, salad dressing and other foods that we often do not think of as containing sugar.
After these considerations comes a number of calories we consume compared to the energy we use daily. Coupled this together with the low quality of calories to nutrition is a major part of the weight and other related problems. Just the calories to activity levels ratio are enough for anyone to become overweight. Often we are tired of hearing it, but it still remains a fact, that weight has much to do with the calories in compared to the energy expended.
A typical diet in America contains about 3800 calories a day. That is right at double what is recommended for a healthy adult. Most men should consume between 2000 to 2300 calories depending on their level of daily physical activity. A woman should consume about 1500 to 1800 again depending on her level of exercise or another form of activity. That means that most Americans are eating close to double what they should be to maintain a good weight.
Doctors are now recommending that we try to get at least half of our daily carbs in the form of healthy, unprocessed whole grains. These include bread such as whole wheat, rye, and barley to name a few. Other grains that are healthy are oatmeal, brown rice and corn. Foods made from these unprocessed grains such as cereals, popcorn and pasta are also good choices.
Eating these types of grains will help you stay full and keep you regulated. They will give you energy and nutrition. Our bodies do well by consuming a significant amount of our daily calories with whole grains.
Fruits and vegetables are also very important for getting what you need for nutrition and fiber. Fiber helps the body to slow down the infusion of sugar in the body. That is why the sugar we get from these foods are much better for us than from directly consuming processed sugars. Fiber not only helps keeps you regulated but helps the body to use the carbs you eat for energy instead of converting it to fat for storage. You should consume around 14 or 15 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories you eat each day.
Fiber can be found in vegetables and their peels, in whole grains as well as nuts, beans, seeds, and roots.