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We often hear that carbohydrates are important as our body’s main source of energy. At the same time, we also hear carbohydrates being blamed for causing weight gain. To settle this issue, it is important to know that not all carbohydrates are created equal.

Carbohydrates as  major source of energy in the diet comprise around half the total calories and are manufactured mainly by plants. The family of dietary carbohydrate includes simple carbohydrates such as honey and sugars, and complex carbohydrates such as starches and dietary fiber. Simple carbohydrates are quickly absorbed in the small intestine that result to an increase in blood sugar and provide a quick boost of energy. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, take longer to break down which means that there is no rapid spike in blood sugar.

Supplying the body’s cells with glucose for energy is the primary role of carbohydrates. Most importantly, the preferred energy source for brain cells, other nerve cells and developing red blood cells is glucose. With this, a person needs  to eat dietary carbohydrates to keep providing glucose to meet the body’s energy needs. For Filipinos aged 19 years and above, the recommended intake of carbohydrates is 55% to 75% of the total energy intake. The recommended energy intake of 1,930 kcal for females aged 19 to 29 years old should therefore have 1,060 kcal to 1,450 kcal of carbohydrates, or about 265 to 365 grams. Other information can be checked on The Philippine Dietary Reference Intakes (https://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph/index.php/tools-and-standard/philippine-dietary-reference-intakes-pdri).

Feat1Nutrition Cluster Advisory #1  in its 6th message enjoins local governments to lead its constituents not just in healthy eating in general but also limiting the intake of sugary, salty and fatty foods.

Eating a well-balanced and nutritious meals and snacks especially during emergencies could indeed be a challenge for most households.  This is so because emergencies usually limit food choices of families.  Either the food is available in the market but physical access by people is reduced or food supply is itself inadequate, in quantity or quality or both. 

Mandaluyong Vegetable Food PacksThe National Nutrition Council lauds the effort of the Mandaluyong City Nutrition Committee chaired by Mayor Carmelita Abalos in providing healthy and nutritious food packs to its constituents. The City includes freshly harvested vegetables to the food packs being distributed on top of the usual canned goods during the enhanced community quarantine due to COVID-19. The City’s strategy of directly buying vegetables from its sister cities also provides economic relief to the local producers affected by the crisis.

“Sa layon ni Mayor Menchie Abalos na ang maihahatid na food supplies sa ating mga bahay ay mas masustansya, nakipag-ugnayan tayo sa ating mga sister cities para makapag-angkat ng mga sariwang gulay. Ang bagong dating na mga sariwang gulay ay mula sa Nueva Ecija na ihahatid kasama ang mga grocery packs sa mga kababayan nating kapos sa buhay para makapaghanda sila ng masustansyang pagkain. Sa mga susunod na araw, inaasahan na may mga iba pang mga gulay na darating mula sa iba pa nating sister cities na tutulong sa atin. Natutulungan din natin sila sa pagtangkilik ng kanilang produkto…” - Mandaluyong City Public Information Office