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The Best Sources of Carbs

Por Eleazar Lara-Pantin, MD, MSc.* -

Carbohydrates are very important nutritional substances which should be an integral part of everyone’s diet, no exception.

We have dedicated several MyDiet TM articles to analyzing the importance of carbohydrates (See list of related articles at the end of the page). Now we will respond to a frequently asked question: Which foods contain carbohydrates?

Monarchs of the vegetable kingdom

The best source of carbohydrates are vegetables. What’s more, if we were to make a list of all vegetables, we would find that all of them contain carbohydrates in varying quantities.
Roots such as sweet potatoes, carrots, yucca and yams are actually carbohydrate powerhouses. Cereals are also another source rich in carbohydrates. Industrially processed cereals have a wide range of uses and are easily preserved. This is the case of wheat and corn, whose processed, and many times precooked, flours find a practical use at home. The most universal use of wheat is for bread, although crackers are eaten by hundreds of millions across the continents and the consumption of pasta is widespread in the Western world. Rice is a component of the diets of many Spanish-speaking countries and corn is eaten on a daily basis in the form of flakes. In Central and North America, corn tortillas and its variants are a popular meal, as are arepas or corn bread and tamales in the Andean countries.
Legumes, such as beans, are also a very common source carbohydrates, as well as being a good source of protein.

A bonus . . .

In addition to their high carbohydrate content, the foods described above are also very rich in dietary fiber. Though dietary fiber is a non-nutritional component, it's essential to our nutrition because of the key role it plays in bowel function and, thus, in preventing illnesses. Of vegetable products, only refined flour and products made with refined flour have low fiber content.

To learn more about fiber, we invite you to read our article "Let's talk about fiber."

Dr. Lara, a nutrition specialist, is Vice President of Product Development for DrTango, Inc.


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