Can carbs actually make you fat as some headlines suggest?

Excess calories of any type cause weight gain. Carbohydrates (CHO) are the body’s main source of fuel. As glucose, CHO flows in your body’s cells and tissues supplying energy for nearly all metabolic functions. An eight hour supply of CHO (as glycogen) is stored in your muscles and liver, so daily replenishment of this vital nutrient is important. CHO exists in the form of sugar, starch and fiber. Except for milk, all CHO comes from plant foods. These plants contain fiber, starch, sugar, vitamins, minerals, plant proteins, essential fatty acids, phytonutrients, flavor, texture, and aroma. Your goal should be more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.


What is a healthy, safe amount of Aspartame (NutriSweet) per day for adults?

Aspartame is a dipeptide (L-aspartyl-L-phenylalanine methyl ester), approved in 1981 by the FDA as a sweetener. Although soft drinks acount for about 70% of aspartame consumption, this sweetener is added to more than 6,000 foods, personal care products, and pharmaceuticals. According to the FDA, an intake of 50 mg/kg body weight is a safe upper limit. (To change your weight from pounds to kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 or multiply by .45.) A can of diet soda has up to 225 mg, 8 oz yogurt about 80 mg, and frozen dairy desserts contain up to 47 mg. The FDA websites can provide more detailed information.


What are some of the recommendations of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee?

• Most Americans need to increase their consumption of vitamin E, calcium, potassium and fiber.
• Many Americans need to increase their intake of vitamins A and C, and magnesium.
• Nutrients of importance to the elderly, women of childbearing age and groups susceptible to vitamin D deficiency (persons with dark skin, those exposed to insufficient levels of UVB radiation) include iron, folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.