Carbohydrates: how many are needed? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-12-2007, 10:18 AM
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My husband and I have been vegetarian for about three weeks now with no problems or regrets. However having begun tracking food in fitday, we find we are consuming a large amount of carbs. Is this bad?? Also our calorie intake is pretty low, though this is good as we need to shed a few pounds anyway! But we are concerned about the carbs because there has been so much publicity about high carb intake being harmful. Does anyone have an opinion or knowledge on this subject?

Thanks!

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#2 Old 09-12-2007, 11:31 AM
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What do you mean by a "large amount of carbs"? What percentage of your total calories are carbohydrates? Are you eating good carbs (whole grains, legumes, veggies and fruits) or bad carbs (sugar, white bread, potatoes)?



So I guess my answer is "it depends."
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#3 Old 09-12-2007, 11:47 AM
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Yesterday carbs were 61% of calories consumed. Most from whole grain bread, cereal and sugar in fruit and fruit juice. I get a lot of sugar but it isn't from dumping refined white stuff on things.

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#4 Old 09-12-2007, 12:50 PM
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Carbs are not harmful.



This is stupidity brought on by the Atkins craze.



Most of what we eat is carbohydrates, and should be. The usual recommendations are something like 10%-20% of your calories from protein, less than 30% from fat, and the rest from carbs.



Unlike fat and protein, there are no bad health effects from too many carbs (unless, of course, you're eating too much of some particular food that keeps you from getting some necessary nutrient).



You can make sure you're getting mostly "good carbs" by avoiding processed foods, and emphasizing whole grain breads, brown rice, etc.



If you find that eating carbs makes you overeat, then you should look at the glycemic index of foods - the "good carbs" are typically those with lower glycemic index and more fiber; these tend to curb appetite without providing excessive calories.
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#5 Old 09-12-2007, 05:54 PM
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If you're getting enough protien and good quality fats, and you're not getting too many calories, you're not getting too many carbs.



The 'too much carbs is bad' thing is either for those who are making themselves deficient in something else, or just plain eating too much.
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#6 Old 09-13-2007, 06:54 PM
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well, i have to disagree that you can have bad health effects from too many carbs...

but its more about eating an EXCESS of carbs... over and beyond what you need.



if you are trying to lose weight, cutting cals is good, to a point...you dont want to go so low that your body goes into "starvation mode" and your metablolism slows down.



fitday is good, huh? i just started doing that myself, and man! its eye opening!!



you might want to increase your protein intake as well, but its hard to say w/o seeing your cal breakdown.
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#7 Old 09-13-2007, 07:38 PM
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I always hear people go on about how they don't get enough protein. How are people managing this? I go over on protein daily on a vegan diet. Today I'm over by seven grams.
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#8 Old 09-13-2007, 08:39 PM
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yeah, since i did the fitday thing, i realize how much protein i eat. its not alot, calorie wise, but it makes up most of my intake. i have had to purposefully increase my carbs to increase calories (but they arent such great carbs! lol)



i find if i eat a real "meal", instead of picking all day, its loaded w/ protein. esp if i eat MSF chik strips (23g Pro!!) or soy something. but if i dont eat enough protein...im starving at the end of the day!!
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#9 Old 09-14-2007, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cftwo View Post

What do you mean by a "large amount of carbs"? What percentage of your total calories are carbohydrates? Are you eating good carbs (whole grains, legumes, veggies and fruits) or bad carbs (sugar, white bread, potatoes)?



So I guess my answer is "it depends."



Potatoes are bad carbs? Crap, I've finally eliminated the bad carbs from my diet, but I eat a ton of potaotes. Is that bad?
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#10 Old 09-14-2007, 01:39 PM
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The whole "carbs will kill you" thing annoys me. I always hear people say " if you eat carbs you will gain weight" i swear my diet was like 70% carbs and like 20 % protein, and like 10% fat. and i didnt gain weight on it. as long as your getting all your vites your fine
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#11 Old 09-14-2007, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sumsums View Post

The whole "carbs will kill you" thing annoys me. I always hear people say " if you eat carbs you will gain weight" i swear my diet was like 70% carbs and like 20 % protein, and like 10% fat. and i didnt gain weight on it. as long as your getting all your vites your fine



i actually think that is pretty close to the recommended breakdown of calories...60 carb/20 pro/20 fat...though its diff w/ everyone you ask these days!



(*i dont think i knew that alyssa milano was veg! cool!)
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#12 Old 09-14-2007, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ebonygurl00 View Post

Potatoes are bad carbs? Crap, I've finally eliminated the bad carbs from my diet, but I eat a ton of potaotes. Is that bad?





its not that potatoes are "bad"...but they have a high glycemic index...meaning they convert to sugar easily and quickly, which leads to big swings in insulin and blood sugar levels.



sweet potatoes are better than white, b/c they have a bit of fiber to them.



if you want white potatoes, or white rice or something "bad"... be sure to eat it with some protein, fat and other fiber...that slows down the absorption rate and helps you feel fuller, longer. this way, it doesnt spike your blood sugar and iinsulin levels and leave you feeling like crap.
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#13 Old 09-14-2007, 08:04 PM
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Thank you all for the input! I think if we just eat sensibly and try to balance things out, we will be fine. I do like white potatoes and sweet potatoes as well. We are trying to add more greens which I think we are lacking somewhat. I bought brown rice for the first time... we have been eating white rice.. I have yet to try to brown variety. We have switched from cow's milk to soy milk and no longer eat eggs. I do think we are making a pretty good start. Thanks again for all the good advice.

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#14 Old 09-14-2007, 08:49 PM
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good for you!

remember, we all start somewhere, and learn as we go along... no one is perfect... slip ups will happen, cravings may kick in ....just take it day to day.
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#15 Old 09-14-2007, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebonygurl00 View Post

Potatoes are bad carbs? Crap, I've finally eliminated the bad carbs from my diet, but I eat a ton of potaotes. Is that bad?





The age old 'diet' myth about potatoes being bad seems very popular still, potatoes are a natural food, they are not bad by any means, but of course, as with anything, an excessive amount is never advisable.



Here is a little information...



Misinformation and misconceptions regarding the nutritional value of the potato abound. In fact, an average (~5.3 oz) potato with the skin contains:



45% of the daily value for vitamin C

620 mg potassium, comparable to bananas, spinach and broccoli

trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorous, iron and zinc

all for only 100 calories and no fat.

And potatoes with the skin on are an excellent source of fiber. In fact, with 3 grams of fiber per serving, a potato equals or exceeds that of many "whole" grain products-whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta and many cereals.



Despite the popular notion, the majority of nutrients are not found in the skin, but in the potato itself. Nonetheless, leaving the skin on the potatoes retains all the nutrients, the fiber in the skin and makes potatoes easier to prepare
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#16 Old 09-14-2007, 10:29 PM
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I agree with Pandora on this. I will take up for a spud anyday. They are a good starch that will fill your belly and so many people dismiss them because of the GI thing or the low carb craze.



It must be all that reading on vegsource and Dr. McDougall that I did...however..sweet potatoes and any other spud was a big part of my diet. That was when I was sleek. *sigh*
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#17 Old 09-15-2007, 11:42 AM
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I just picked this book up at a tag sale today for .50 cents. The Carb Conscious Vegetarian: 150 Delicious Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle by Robin Robertson.
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#18 Old 09-15-2007, 06:46 PM
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i love the potato too! dont get me wrong...but i think its important that people realize what they are eating and how it may affect them... if you have blood sugar problems or (like me) diabetes...its important to know. that way, you can plan your meals, healhfully or pinpoint low blood sugars, etc.



i AM NOT advocating boycotting them though!
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#19 Old 09-15-2007, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by LucidAnne View Post

i love the potato too! dont get me wrong...but i think its important that people realize what they are eating and how it may affect them... if you have blood sugar problems or (like me) diabetes...its important to know. that way, you can plan your meals, healhfully or pinpoint low blood sugars, etc.



i AM NOT advocating boycotting them though!



Oh I do agree with this also. I do deal with low blood sugar sometimes. I almost put something like this in my first post, but... it was more about the OP.
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#20 Old 09-17-2007, 06:47 PM
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Thanks for all of the answers on my potato question! I feel more informed now. I love this site!
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#21 Old 10-05-2007, 01:28 PM
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sumsums, i am just replying since i am new and saw your sig....in what way are children and babies murdered for diamonds? do you have a link to that, or info re: that? I ask not to start anything, just out of curiosity and ignorance of those facts. I find it disturbing to hear, but dont want to buy diamonds if that is the case?
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