Right amount of carbohydrates in diet

Normally, all carbohydrates when consumed convert into glucose (the technical term for "simplest sugar"). All your energy comes from glucose in your blood--also known as blood glucose or blood sugar: your body fuel. When your blood sugar is used up, you feel weak and tired--and hungry. But what happens when you eat more carbohydrates than your body can use? You store those extra carbohydrates as fat. When we also know is that the rate at which glucose is absorbed by your body from carbohydrates is affected by other parts of your meal, such as protein, fiber, and fat. If you're eating only carbohydrates and no protein or fat, for example, they will convert into glucose more quickly--to the point where you may feel mood swings, as your blood sugar rises.

Nutritionists advise that daily you should consume roughly 50 to 55 percent carbohydrates, 15 to 20 percent protein, and less than 30 percent fat for a healthy diet.

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Do you crave carbohydrates? Experience mood swings? Feel more irritable in winter? Overeat when you're blue? Food & Mood explains possible reasons why and offers solutions.

This revised edition of Somer's 1995 book provides the latest research on why we crave the foods we do (blame brain chemicals called neurotransmitters) and how our food choices ultimately affect our mood, energy level, sleep and mental function. Somer then tells readers how to tailor an individualized eating plan.

Somer is big on practical tips, like how to choose a breakfast cereal, how to snack to bypass midday doldrums, how to avoid diet traps by keeping a food and mood journal and what herbs and supplements to choose to fend off fatigue, depression or stress, while maximizing brain power. Menus and recipes are plentiful. We particularly like the supplement program Somer lists, giving nutrients to look for in sensible, not radical amounts.

The same basic advice (eat consistently, snack nutritiously, eat processed foods minimally and drink water plentifully) appears repeatedly throughout the book. But Somer makes it seem anything but redundant; she reemphasizes her points until they become second nature to the reader. By book's end, you'll wonder how anyone makes it through the day without her advice.
Available from EN's distributor. ($17. 50 incl. s&h.) Call (800) 571-1555.