Carbohydrates are no more fattening than any other food.  In fact, ounce for ounce, they provide half the calories of fat.  But any food can be “fattening” if you eat too much.

Carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy and provide valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Keep in mind there are three types of carbohydrates —simple, medium and complex.

Simple Carbohydrates or “sugars” are found in some fruits such as grapes and various melons. All types of candy are made of simple carbohydrates, as well as some cereals.  Some simple carbohydrates, including candies and pastries are refined.  Most of the nutritional value is lost but calories are retained when a carbohydrate is refined. Refined sugars should be limited due to their low nutritional value and high calories.

Medium Carbohydrates are not talked about very often. Carbohydrates included in this group are fruits and vegetables such as green apples, pears, tomatoes and most of the green vegetables.  I suggest that these are the carbohydrates that should be eaten most often especially by women.  They have a high nutritional value and are low in calories.

Complex Carbohydrates, or starches, are found in a wide variety of foods and for that reason are usually the major sources of carbohydrates in your health plan.  Complex carbohydrates include foods such as pasta, beans, bread, bananas, and some vegetables.  However, I feel that complex carbohydrates should be limited in your health plan, as it takes your body too long to burn the calories, unless you are involved in an exercise program. I suggest that women, especially, limit their intake of complex carbohydrates due to the enzymes in their bodies.

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