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A high carbohydrate diet good for health

The American Department of indicates diets high in carbohydrates are actually lower in calories and higher in nutrients, despite of all the hype about the advantages of a low carbohydrate and no carbohydrate diet, new research by the Uhis type of diet,// they say, may be used for weight loss or weight loss management.

Prevalence of Obesity has increased steadily during the past 25 years. In 1992, 15 percent of Americans were either overweight or obese. Today, that number has risen to 60% of American adults. In addition, obesity has been connected to more than a quarter million deaths.

The study evaluated low- and high-carbohydrate diets in relation to their energy content, nutritional quality, and relation to body mass index. Researchers with the USDA's Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) 1994-1996 studied 10,000 adults over age 20, dividing them into four levels of carbohydrate intake. These include the very-low-carbohydrate group (less than 30 percent), low-carbohydrate group (30-45 percent), moderate-carbohydrate group (45-55 percent), and a high-carbohydrate group (greater than 50 percent).

Researchers conclude that grain-based diets including fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy, meat, poultry, and fish products were lower in calorie intake and more nutritious than low-carbohydrate diets. In fact, those in the high-carbohydrate group consumed up to 300 less calories per day, while eating the same amount of food. In addition, members of this group had the lowest average BMI.

Results show high-carbohydrate diets contain many more nutrients than low carbohydrate diets. Subjects in the high-carbohydrate group had increased levels of essential nutrients, including vitamin A, carotene, vitamin C, folate, calcium, magnesium and iron. In addition, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, zinc, and vitamin B12 consumption decreased. According to Bowman, people with low-carbohydrate diets risk deficiency i n these antioxidant nutrients.

The researchers conclude that in a woman- "High-carbohydrate diets can be successfully adopted for both weight loss and for the prevention of weight gain by the segment of population who is in the normal weight range."


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