Questions & Answers (3)
Age-related macular degeneration is a major cause of blindness. There are hundreds of substances called carotenoids (which the body converts to vitamin A). However, focus is on lutein and zeatxanthin — found abundantly in the lens and macula of your eyes. Foods rich in these carotenoids, certain antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids — but not supplements — have been shown to lower risk for cataracts and macular degeneration. Eat more green leafy veggies and more fatty fish.
No. Carbs run the spectrum from simple sugars to complex indigestible fibers. The trouble comes from refined grains and simple sugars, which can play havoc with blood sugar and triglyceride levels, body weight, tooth health and inflammation. Humans seem to have an innate preference for sugar over other foods, and we scoop it up and guzzle it down.
Higher fiber carbs, on the other hand, offer some health benefits. They are slowly broken down in the gut. This slows absorption of sugar, which makes diabetes easier to manage. Fiber in the gut also links with cholesterol, which helps control cholesterol levels. Fiber provides fuel for intestinal bacteria, which may play a role in cancer protection and immune function. Not to mention that roughage improves regularity. Fiber fills you up, making dieting a bit easier. Bottom line: Switch to whole grains.
The war on obesity is all about reducing calories. We eat foods that are mixtures of the four calorie-yielding nutrients: carbohydrate, protein, fat and alcohol. Should you emphasize or eliminate one for weight control? That argument has been going on a long time and will likely continue as people search for the most effective weight-loss diet. In the meantime, if you want to control your weight, remember it's calories that count.