Contrasting Carbohydrates and Added Sugars

Carbohydrates are one of the 3 macro nutrients that everyone needs to consume in large amounts daily. Sugars, fibres and starches all fall under the carbohydrate category. Although they are all in the same family, not all of them are alike in terms of nutritional value. The difference between foods that are high in carbohydrates and foods with added sugar are that high carb foods can be naturally occurring carbohydrates while the other have sugar added to provide sweetness.

Foods that are high in added sugars are usually not very healthy. Foods with added sugars can include protein bars, crackers, chocolate, yogurt and even fruit cups. These are all very delicious and sweet, but that’s due to the high amounts of sugar that’s been added. Foods that are high in added sugars can lead to a lot of health problems. Two of the many health problems are type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Rippe & Angelopoulos (2016) believe “Diabetes has emerged as a major and rapidly growing worldwide health concern in the twenty-first century. The prevalence of diabetes is predicted by the International Diabetes Federation to double by 2035. This dramatic increase in diabetes has paralleled the worldwide increase in obesity and has prompted further investigation of potential nutritional links to diabetes. One of the factors that has been suggested as a unique link to diabetes is the consumption of fructose-containing sugars”.

A healthy form of high carbohydrate foods are whole grains. Whole grains are grains that are completely intact. This means the germ and bran are not removed.

These foods are typically high in fibre which prevents constipation and promotes healthier bowel movements. Consuming fibre also helps protect against heart disease, decreases risk of diabetes, and reduces likeliness of becoming overweight. Whole grains also contain more nutrients which include Vitamin B, iron, potassium, and even one of the major macronutrients in protein.

Below are pictures I took of whole grain foods and food with added sugars. The Ritz crackers have added sugars and the wild rice and quinoa are the whole grains. The wild rice was taken at a local grocery store while the other 2 were from home.

Here is a simple and delicious Lemon Herb Quinoa that you can make to get a healthy dose of whole grains.

Quinoa:
2 3/4 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 cups quinoa

Dressing
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves from garden

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary from garden

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Steps

  1. Bring quinoa to boil with chicken stock and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Turn down to simmer and cover until all liquid is absorbed.
  2. For dressing, whisk together olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, fresh basil, fresh rosemary, lemon zest, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss cooked quinoa with dressing and adjust seasoning to taste.

This quinoa dish would be great as a side to any salmon dish.

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Finished quinoa!

References

Rippe, J. M., & Angelopoulos, T. J. (2016). Added sugars and risk factors for obesity, diabetes and heart disease. International Journal of Obesity, (S1), 22. https://doi-org.gbcprx01.georgebrown.ca/10.1038/ijo.2016.10

The whole truth about whole grains. (2017, July 18). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/whole-grains/art-20047826

Nutrition Blog #1

Nutrition is a very broad term that encompasses many different topics. One topic in nutrition that interests me are low carb diets. The reason that it interests me is because for me personally, carbohydrate heavy foods are easy to overeat. Overeating carbs tends to lead to bloating and feeling heavy. Foods like rice, pasta, french fries, bread are all great foods to eat in moderation. The problem comes with eating an excessive amount of them, which I feel can be difficult. I’d like to be able to limit my carbohydrate intake without cutting it out of my diet completely.

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Foods popular in low carb diets. Photo taken from https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb

A topic that I would like to learn more about are Omega-3 Fatty Acids. I often hear a lot about how Omega-3 Fatty Acids are great for so many reasons. I would like to learn exactly how they benefit our health and why they are so good for us. I know they are often found in fish like salmon, or even nuts and seeds like chia seeds. I hope that as I progress through this course, I will learn a lot more about the benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

As a culinary student, I must make sure that all food that I serve tastes and looks great. Another thing that I must focus on as well is the nutritional value that it provides as well. I believe that nutrition plays a very important role currently and in the future of the culinary industry. I think people are much more health conscious nowadays so they value menus that do have a healthier side to them. Not only does it contribute to health, but it also affects the palate. Various fruits, vegetables, nuts, or seeds can add different textures and flavours to a dish that other ingredients cannot.

One thing that is important when it comes to research focusing on nutrition is credibility. There are many different sources of information in regards to health and nutrition, so it is important to rely on websites or people who are qualified to do just that. A credible nutrition website would be the Harvard School of Public Health. They are a credible source because according to their mission statement, “To pursue this mission, the School produces knowledge through research, reproduces knowledge through higher education, and translates knowledge into evidence that can be communicated to the public, policymakers, and practitioners to advance the health of populations.” They also reference academic research so I believe they are very trustworthy.

An example of a website that isn’t as credible is BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed is a website that uses “click-bait” articles to generate views. They often reference other articles published on their own site to backup their statements. For example, in the article I referenced below, they mention how polyunsaturated fats can be good for you by linking the reader to another BuzzFeed article written by the same author. I don’t think that the information is all false on their website, but having articles full of unrelated GIFs, and “click-bait” titles do not give me the feeling of credibility.

Thank you for reading my first Nutrition blog. I hope to see you on the next one!

 

References

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An Essential Contribution. (2018, June 04). Retrieved from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/types-of-fat/omega-3-fats/

Tamarkin, S. (2017, March 09). Here Are The Foods You Should Eat (And Avoid) To Live Longer. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/sallytamarkin/foodies-never-say-die

Tamarkin, S. (2016, June 08). Here’s How To Eat Lots Of Fat And Actually Still Be Healthy. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/sallytamarkin/avocados-for-president