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Are Carbohydrates Bad for Your Health?


What is a carbohydrate?

It is a macronutrient such as protein and lipids (fat) that provides us with calories, therefore energy for our body. It is the main energy that our body uses.


The main categories of carbs are fiber, starch, and sugars (1). They are found in fruits, vegetables, cereal products, dairy products and desserts, etc.


In the category of sugars, there are natural sugars (sources: fruits, vegetables, starchy foods, milk and its substitutes, etc.) and added sugars (often added to desserts, granola bars, cereals, etc.).


Added sugar (honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, table sugar, etc.), when consumed in excessive amounts, increases the risk of consuming too much energy (calories) in a day. A long-term excess of calories increases the risks of suffering from overweight and obesity. Obesity increases the risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes, certain forms of cancer (colorectal, kidney, breast, endometrial ovarian and pancreatic cancer) and cardiovascular diseases (stroke, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease and hypertension) (2).


Carbohydrates are not bad for your health. However, it is important to have a certain balance in our meals and snacks. See Canada's Food Guide: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/


See you next time,

Karine Drouin, Registered Dietitian



 

References

1- Diabète Québec. (July, 2019).Le rôle des glucides. Retrieved online on January 20th at https://www.diabete.qc.ca/fr/vivre-avec-le-diabete/alimentation/aliments-et-nutriments/les-glucides/


2- Government of Canada (June, 2011). Obésité au Canada – Conséquences sur la santé et l’économie. Retrieved online on January 20th at

https://www.canada.ca/fr/sante-publique/services/promotion-sante/modes-vie-sains/obesite-canada/consequences-sante-economie.html





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