A prospective study of dietary glycemic load, carbohydrate intake, and risk of coronary heart disease in US women.
The primary role of carbohydrates (sugars and starches) is to provide energy to cells in the body, particularly the brain, which is the only carbohydrate-dependent organ in the body. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for carbohydrate is set at 130 g/d for adults and children based on the average minimum amount of glucose utilized by the brain. This level of intake, however, is typically exceeded to meet energy needs while consuming acceptable intake levels of fat and protein (see Chapter 11). The median intake of carbohydrates is approximately 220 to 330 g/d for men and 180 to 230 g/d for women. Due to a lack of sufficient evidence on the prevention of chronic diseases in generally healthy individuals, no recommendations based on glycemic index are made.