Making Better Choices

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Because insulin secretion is a direct result of eating carbohydrates, should everyone stop or slash their carbohydrate intake? Of course not!

The body is primarily fueled by carbohydrates — diets too restrictive in all carbohydrates are unhealthy. However, people should learn to make better carbohydrate choices. This involves avoiding carbohydrates that are highly insulin producing or high-glycemic.

Good carbohydrate choices include high-fiber vegetables, most fruits, and whole grains.

Certain carbohydrates, such as white potatoes, white rice, white bread, corn, and beets, should be avoided or used sparingly. Foods containing more than five grams of added sugar are generally unhealthy. Check the labels of foods for unnecessarily added refined sugar; these foods — even though they may be low in fat — will result In a high insulin response, causing the body to convert and store this sugar as fat.

Eating for a healthy heart and vascular system, as well as maintaining a good appearance and your waistline, involves many facets of nutrition. Just focusing on fat is not enough. People should choose lean and trimmed meats, with an emphasis on reducing saturated fats, and high fiber vegetables and whole grains, avoiding refined and processed products. Also remember to drink plenty of water, about six to eight glasses, throughout the day. However, limit fluids with meals because they dilute digestive juices, making digestion incomplete. Use moderation in portion sizes; too much of a good thing can be bad.

A good nutritional lifestyle will be physically rewarding as well as healthy. Understanding the foods we eat and making good nutritional choices is good pre-

People can learn to make better carbohydrate choices, such as eating high-fiber vegetables, most fruits, and whole grains. Foods that are heavy in refined or simple sugars should be avoided.

R. Curtis Ellison, M.D.

ventative medicine. At least in nutrition, the old adage certainly applies: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

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