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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Relationship, benefits, risks, and more

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Eating carbohydrates can increase a person’s blood sugar. This is important information for people with diabetes or for those trying to reduce their risk of developing the condition.

However, adequate intake of carbohydrates or carbohydrates is still an important part of a nutritional plan for people with diabetes.

A person living with diabetes should understand the relationship between the condition and the carbohydrates so that they can make the best food choices for themselves.

Not all carbohydrates are created equal – some foods high in carbohydrates also contain other important nutrients that, in the right amounts, can benefit a person with diabetes.

This article explores the relationship between carbohydrates and diabetes, and the benefits and risks of carbohydrates in a nutrition plan.

If a person with diabetes has high blood sugar levels, it can lead to serious complications. Consumption of carbohydrates can contribute to high blood sugar.

Insulin explained

Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone that breaks down sugar in the blood for use as energy. Failure to receive insulin or even amounts of insulin in the body can lead to elevated blood sugar levels which can be harmful to the person.

Type 1 diabetes means that a person’s body does not produce enough insulin or does not produce enough insulin.

According to Johns Hopkins University, type 1 diabetes typically starts at a young age and occurs because the immune system attacks the pancreas, which prevents the body from making insulin.

In type 2 diabetes, a person’s body is insensitive to insulin. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs later in life, often in obese adults.

Blood sugar explained

People living with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes need to monitor their blood sugar (sugar) levels.

Eating and fasting directly affect a person’s blood sugar levels.

However, not all foods affect blood sugar levels in the same way.

Carbohydrates Explained

The body breaks digestible carbohydrates into sugar. This then enters a person’s bloodstream.

Simple carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates can cause blood sugar levels to rise very quickly. Simple carbohydrates include fructose and glucose and can contain some vitamins and minerals.

Foods that contain fructose may contain fruit juice concentrate that contains simple carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrate foods that contain glucose can include table sugar or sweets.

Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, will slowly increase blood sugar levels. These foods can contain other vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

However, complex carbohydrates can include starchy foods like white bread or white potatoes, which have fewer other beneficial ingredients.

Learn more about simple vs. complex carbohydrates here.

What does this mean for a person with diabetes?

According to UW Health, the total amount of carbohydrates a person eats affects their blood sugar and helps them understand how much insulin to get.

Find out here how a person with high blood sugar might feel.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person with diabetes should aim to get around 50% of their calories from carbohydrates.

So if a person consumes 1,800 calories a day to maintain a healthy weight, 800–900 of those calories could come from carbohydrates. The CDC states that this equates to around 200 to 225 grams per day.

However, they indicate that the number of carbohydrates a person will need will be different.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) divides carbohydrates into three categories, including:

The ADA states that a person’s greatest source of carbohydrates should be non-starchy whole vegetables.

Next, people should be eating some minimally processed carbohydrates. These can include:

  • fruit
  • Grains
  • Beans
  • starchy vegetables

Finally, the ADA recommends avoiding foods with refined sugars as much as possible. These foods include candy, soda, and juices.

A person with diabetes needs to keep an eye on their carbohydrate intake as part of their blood sugar monitoring.

However, you can aim to include carbohydrates in your diet that contain other beneficial nutrients.

Different types of carbohydrates can provide different benefits.

Fiber

Fiber can offer several benefits, including:

  • Increase in insulin sensitivity
  • Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Support in losing weight

The CDC adds that fiber doesn’t raise blood sugar levels.

Strength

Starch is found in various vegetables, whole grain products and fruits.

According to the ADA, the slow rate at which starch releases glucose into the blood can help prevent blood sugar spikes.

sugar

In general, a person should avoid added sugars and refined sugars.

However, if a person’s blood sugar levels drop too low, the ADA recommends using a food or drink with 15 grams of carbohydrates. They suggest that a person should wait 15 minutes and then check their blood sugar levels. If your blood sugar is still below 70 milligrams per deciliter, you can take another serving.

There are several foods that provide fiber or starch. The ADA recommends getting most carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables, including:

The ADA also recommends including some of the following foods in a daily menu:

The CDC recommends that a person consume no more than 50% of their calories from carbohydrates each day.

Cause diabetes

A 2018 study shows that consuming too many carbohydrates every day can increase the risk of diabetes, other metabolic disorders, or cardiovascular diseases.

Hyperglycemia

Consumption of simple carbohydrates can lead to a rapid rise in blood sugar levels in diabetics.

According to the ADA, hyperglycemia can occur if people eat more than planned or exercise less than planned.

If left untreated, hyperglycemia or high blood sugar can cause a serious condition called ketoacidosis.

There are some foods that a person with diabetes or someone who wants to reduce their risk of diabetes should avoid as much as possible.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends limiting or avoiding the following foods:

  • fried food
  • Foods high in saturated and trans fats
  • Lemonade, juices, and other beverages with a high sugar content
  • Sweets including:
    • Sweets
    • Ice cream
    • Bakery products

A person should work with their health care provider to determine the best nutrition plan for them.

A person should also speak to their doctor before making any radical dietary changes, as this can affect how much insulin or medication they need to control their blood sugar levels.

General nutrition tips

There are a few different diet options that can work well for a person with diabetes.

The CDC recommends that any diet plan for a person with diabetes:

  • Focus on whole foods
  • Avoid or limit sugar
  • mostly contain non-starchy vegetables

Plate method and counting carbohydrates

The CDC suggests that a person use either the plate method or carbohydrate counting diet plans.

The plate method visually divides the plate into servings to help determine how many carbohydrates, protein, and non-starchy vegetables a person should be eating during a meal.

Carbohydrate counting involves adding up how many carbohydrates a person consumes during a meal and a day to limit total carbohydrates.

Learn more about carbohydrate counting for diabetes here.

Low carb diets

Low-carb diets, like the keto diet, are often a popular choice for people with diabetes.

However, research in 2015 found that while low-carb diets are generally safe and effective in the short term, they have no long-term benefits over high-carb diets in terms of:

  • Weight loss
  • Blood sugar control
  • Fat concentrations
  • Blood pressure

As a result, researchers did not recommend using a low-carbohydrate diet as the standard diet recommendation for people with diabetes.

Learn more about the keto diet and type 2 diabetes here.

A person with diabetes should focus on consuming non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, and starches in fruits and vegetables.

People should avoid or limit the amount of processed foods and refined sugars they consume to avoid problems from high sugar levels.

There are several possible eating plans a person can follow including the plate method, carbohydrate counting, or even a low-carb diet.

A person should always speak to their doctor before making any drastic changes to their diet.

Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Expert’s nutrition tips for runners

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Running is a very popular sport, thanks to its simplicity and many health and fitness benefits. It’s versatile and inexpensive, requires very little equipment, and it’s an excellent way to strengthen your cardiovascular health.

Nutrition plays an important part in optimum running performance. pexels

With the competitive nature of the sport, runners continuously challenge themselves and each other to improve. In addition to training, proper fuel for the body is vital for peak sports performance.

Noted medical and nutrition specialist Dr. Korakod Panich provided the five best nutrients for optimal running performance.

Nutrition is important for runners because it plays a vital role in overall health and can also support performance. A balanced diet for healthy runners should include these five key nutrients:

1. Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates—which can be found in food such as fruits, dairy products, and starches such as rice, bread, and pasta—are the most important source of energy for the body.

For runners, a small meal, taken an hour before running, consisting of carbohydrates and a bit of protein can provide the energy needed to run effectively. A smoothie made with milk and fruit, or some yogurt topped with berries, provides the nutrients needed and is easily digested before a workout.

Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates before exercising can help you maximize your workout.

2. Protein
Protein—found in meat, milk, eggs, and soy—helps repair and rebuild tissues and muscles that could be affected during physical activities. With the proper amount of protein and adequate sleep, muscles repair, rebuild, and become stronger.

Soy is a good protein source as it is one of the few complete plant-based proteins containing all of the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Runners should consume a combination of carbs and protein 30 to 45 minutes after exercising.

Carb to protein ratio should be 2-3:1, with 20 grams of high-quality protein after a workout and between 40 and 60 grams of carbohydrate. A sandwich on whole-grain bread with a piece of fruit or a high-protein recovery shake would fill the bill.

3.Fat
Fat serves as an essential energy source. It is often used as fuel, particularly during moderate-intensity exercise that lasts for an extended period, such as a moderate jog lasting at least 30 minutes or so. The body will utilize more fat than carbohydrate for fuel in an attempt to conserve carbohydrate that is stored in the liver and muscles.

Choose beneficial fats—such as those found in olive oil, avocado, and nuts—and avoid saturated fats¬¬that can raise the risk of heart disease. This means staying away from fatty red meats, and ultra-processed foods, such as fast food or bakery items.

4. Vitamins and minerals
There are different kinds of vitamins and minerals that help maintain the balance in body system functions; fruits and vegetables are the best sources to obtain them. During exercise, the body excretes waste in the form of sweat, which also removes important minerals from the body. If you opt to exercise for more than one hour, energy and mineral drinks are highly recommended to replace lost fluids and minerals.

5.Water
The human body is made up of 70 percent water, which is why staying hydrated is crucial. Water helps deliver nutrients to the cells and plays a significant role in eliminating waste. Runners need to maintain body water balance before, during, and after workouts because water provides nourishment that the body needs for almost every single function. It also helps limit changes in body temperature.

Make sure not to lose more than two percent of your body weight in fluids during exercise, as it can reduce your strength and affect performance. If you exercise regularly, check your weight before and after a workout to keep track of water loss and be sure to replace those losses. For every pound of weight lost during exercise, replace with 2-3 cups of fluid (or 1 liter of fluid for every kilogram lost during exercise).

Nutrition and running style

Aside from understanding the importance of nutrients, it is also essential for new runners to learn the proper way to run. Running not just makes our bodies stronger; it also helps burn calories and fat, depending on the goal.

If you have little time and would like to burn calories and fat, you can do interval training, which alternates short work intervals (80-90 percent of maximum heart rate for 30-60 seconds) with rest periods (50 percent of maximum heart rate for 1-2 minutes). This helps improve circulation and enable the heart to pump blood and make it healthier while strengthening the muscles.

If your main aim is to burn fat, and you have some time, you can run slowly to raise your heart rate to 40-60 percent of your maximum, for at least 45-60 minutes.

Korakod Panich is a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board.

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Weekly Spotlight: Make the Perfect Spring Vegan Pasta Salad!

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Pasta salad is a wonderful spring meal, plus it’s a wonderful plant-based meal that can easily be veganized! It’s a meal that you can add any veggie that you want to, making it super versatile for this time of year. When spring produces like arugula, garlic and some herbs are hitting their peak season, you might have extra veggies on hand or are looking for a way to clear out some veggies from your fridge. Pasta salad is also easy to whip up, and you can either do a simple dressing or a more involved creamy dressing to top it.

Depending on your time and how you want to enjoy your pasta salad, this guide splits pasta salad recipes depending on their sauce base. The simple oil and garlic type dressings are lighter in flavor, allowing whatever you hand (veggies or herbs) to stand out in your final pasta salad. However, if you’re looking for a creamier and more hands-on homemade dressing, we’ve got you covered too! These are topped with a dressing that uses a base of tahini, tofu, or even hemp seeds to create a delicious creamy dressing. The last group focuses on taking a traditional pasta salad adding a twist, like a clever flavor or mixing up the base grain!

We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster app — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Weekly Meal Plan Archives!

Are you ready to have a week full of delicious, high-protein, whole-food vegan food that leaves you nourished and content? Let’s get started!

This week, we’re bringing delicious pasta salad recipes that are fully vegan and plant-based!

Pasta Salads that Use a Mayo, Sour Cream, or Simple Oil Dressing:

Vegan Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

Source: Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad

These quick pasta salads are great to throw together for the week! Their light dressing makes it excellent to eat on its own to get a variety of simple flavors and enjoy the fresher crunch of the veggies in these dishes.

Pasta Salads that Use a Tofu, Tahini, Homemade, or Cashew Based Dressing

Vegan Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

Source: Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad

These creamy pasta salads are excellent to enjoy on their own, or if you’re looking to add even more veggies, you could enjoy these over a base of greens for an extra crunch of texture! There are so many ways to make a creamy pasta salad with vegan ingredients; you could use cashews, tofu, tahini, or even hemp hearts to get a creamy sauce.

Pasta Salads that Are a Twist on a Classic Dish:

Vegan Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Source: Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta

Cacio e Pepe as a pasta salad? Using orzo instead of pasta? There are so many ways to change up the flavors and inspiration you use for your pasta salads. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy a new way of eating pasta salad, this is your list right here!

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Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, good health other more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster app which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental other health benefits of a plant based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!

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Whole Grain Pasta Nutrients

Food Therapist Debunks Myths About Veganism

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Veganism is a lifestyle that is based on the ideology that humans should not exploit animals or the environment for their needs. Vegans refrain from utilizing any kind of animal products for food, clothing, or work, among other things, and they do not differentiate between any species as they consider all animals equal. Simply put, veganism is the practice of avoiding the use of any animal products—particularly in our diet—including meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Myths about veganism

Additionally, there are countless myths, misconceptions, and assumptions about being vegan from all corners. We got Nidhi Nahata—Founder, Justbe Resto Cafe, Bangalore, and food therapist—to debunk a few common floating speculations.

1. Milk has a lot of calcium

Credit: iStock

There is an existing misconception that only cow milk contains calcium. So, what is the optimal source of calcium? Like plenty of other nutrients, calcium is readily available in a variety of plant-based foods that are better absorbed by the body than dairy. Think broccoli, cabbage, kale, almonds, chia, beans, pulses, leafy vegetables, and more. Therefore, even if you are not vegan, having a wide range of calcium sources in your diet can be a healthier option.

2. Animal protein is more important than plant protein

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Incidentally, the animals that are consumed for so-called protein are fed on a plant based diet, which basically means that we are consuming the same and/or processed protein through dead tissues or extracted produce from an animal. For those on the lookout for plant-based protein sources, there are plenty of options like soya, lentils, pulses, broccoli, seaweed, peas, spinach, beans, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, quinoa, peanuts, cashews, almonds , pistachios, walnuts, oats, and seitan tofu.

3. Vegans have B12 deficiency

Vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians—all could have deficiency because of vitamin B12, which is a bacteria found in nature. The sources of vitamin B12 are commonly questioned in reference to being vegan, since the most common source is assumed to be animals and animal products. But the reality is that vegans can achieve the intake needed through reliable sources, such as supplements or fortified foods.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Vitamin B12 is produced by certain microorganisms and is processed while consuming cobalt from a plant base. However, our modern day agriculture prevents these nutrients to be transferred into our bodies through either sources-–animals or plants. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians need to normally be given cobalt or B12 supplements to attain suitable levels regardless of their dietary preference.

4. Vegan lifestyle is very expensive

food item
Credit: iStock

The limited accessibility to vegan food and alternatives is one of the biggest restrictive misconnects prevalent in our society. The reality is that, similar to any diet, plant-based eating is only expensive if there are a lot of quick-to-eat processed foods, readymade meal preps, and products from vegan-specific brands. There are plenty of vegan foods and ingredients that are affordable in India, especially if the diet is centered around cheaper foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils, beans, and several others. Good planning can make vegan diet more affordable than the ones that include animal products.

5. Pregnant women need milk and dairy

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

“You cannot be vegan when pregnant” is a common misconception for soon-to-be vegan parents. The basic fact is that pregnancy is a challenge for the body, no matter what diet you are on and usually requires additional nutrients. It is advised to be closer to iron and vitamin B12, which can be attained on a vegan diet as well. The tradition of milk being one of the most integral components of our diet has been prevalent for decades. We need to be mindful and bring logical reasoning in choosing food for soon-to-be parents as well as children.

6. Soy increases the chances of breast cancer

  7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

There is no convincing evidence that eating soy-based food increases the risk of breast cancer in humans. This misunderstanding, however, might arise from earlier studies conducted on rodents. Scientists of this study showed that when these animals received large amounts of soy-compounds called flavones, they showed likelihood to develop breast cancer.

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

A study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology, in February 2020, searched associations between soy intake and breast cancer risk by following 52,795 cancer-free women in the US for an average of 7.9 years. In the results, they found no substantial association between soy intake and breast cancer, but they did identify a link between dairy (milk) and breast cancer.

Soy as an ingredient is loaded with fiber and is a good source of protein, omega 3, and antioxidants. Research also suggests that soy has a good amount of protein which is well absorbed by the body, and the best way to consume it is in bean form, tofu, tempeh, and other such forms.

7. Veganism is a cult

7 myths about veganism
Credit: iStock

Being compassionate and conscious can never be a cult. Veganism is a lifestyle that utilizes an ideology to bring people closer to their instincts. This means bringing us closer to eating what nature has designed and grown for us, rather than exploiting animals and other sentient beings.

Lead Image Credit: Alia Bhatt and Yami Gautam Dhar, Instagram

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