Just as with fats, there are “bad carbs” and “good carbs” (and conflicting dietary claims and sometimes controversy). Importantly, good carbs are high in fiber but not high in sugar. Good carbs include fiber-rich whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
Despite the proponents of low-carb diets, recent scientific reviews and research indicate that for long-term health (and not just immediate weight loss) people should eat more carbs, not less–but they should consume good carbs rather than bad.
The reviews and research suggest that consuming more good carbs as part of one’s diet (and that’s significantly more than what most people currently eat) can lead to 15-30% decreases in mortality and the incidence of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colorectal cancer. Other benefits can include weight loss, lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol. “The relationship between a high-fiber diet and lower disease risk could be causal.”
The prevalence of obesity in the United States among those 40-59 and over 60 years of age is an extremely high 41-43% and about 19% for those under 20 (as of 2016). Rates of type 2 diabetes are rapidly increasing today for adolescents.
How did we get to this point?
One way–big Tobacco companies bought up food companies and manipulated and marketed heavily sweetened/artificial flavor beverages (like Tang, Capri Sun, Kool-Aid, and more) to children from the 1960’s through the early 2000’s (many of these brands have now passed to other companies … who are continuing this marketing today in the U.S. and globally).
“Cigarette companies were frequently introducing new flavored products, and many of the chemicals that went into cherry-scented chewing tobacco and apple-flavored cigarettes [as examples] found their way into children’s drinks.” The goal of these manipulations and marketing was “to leave people wanting more.”
People were hooked on sugary beverages. The very adult age groups in the United States with obesity rates in the 40% range today were children in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s.