JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW
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New metrics of dietary carbohydrate quality.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this study was to introduce novel metrics of dietary carbohydrates quality relevant for products and diets.

RECENT FINDINGS: Carbohydrate quality has long been associated with a low glycemic index. More recently, novel metrics of carbohydrate quality featuring variations of total carbohydrates-fibers-free sugars ratios have been applied to carbohydrate-rich foods, including grains, beans, vegetables, and fruit. High scoring products had higher levels of health-promoting nutrients (protein, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, selenium, and various B-vitamins) and lower levels of nutrients of public health concern (total sugar, added/free sugars, and fat profile). Cross-sectional studies also found variants of carbohydrate quality metrics to be associated with better markers of cardiometabolic disease, including lower levels of blood triglycerides:high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, and SBP.

SUMMARY: New ratio-based carbohydrate quality metrics are built around high fiber and whole grain content, combined with a low free sugar content. Such metrics allow the identification of food products of higher overall nutritional quality, and are associated with improved diet quality and certain health outcomes.

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