I heard that carbs are “bad.” Is this true?
Let’s not confuse good choices with bad choices. Carbohydrates are the BEST source of energy for your brain and your body. In fact, your brain can only use carbohydrates to work. Healthy choices are whole grain breads and cereals because they are great sources of fiber and B-vitamins which are good for your heart health. And don‘t forget fruits and vegetables. They also contain carbohydrates but are packed with good vitamins, minerals, and substances called “phytochemicals.” These plant chemicals help protect you against heart disease and some cancers. Fiber, a type of carbohydrate, actually helps you control body weight – why would you eat less of these foods? Fiber also lowers your risk for certain cancers, stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure. And don’t forget dairy foods – they contain carbs, but with important nutrients like calcium and Vitamin D. For more information about carbohydrates go to http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/nutrition/348-351/348-351.html
Ellen Schuster, Associate State Nutrition Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Wednesday, December 10, 2008