Case Study # 2
Simple Sugar and Complex Carbohydrate
Clara is an African Canadian university student. She is 5’4” (1.63 m) and weighs 170 lbs (77 kgs). Clara’s entire family is overweight and her father was diagnosed with diabetes last month. Her uncle has been suffering from diabetes since he was eight years old. Clara fears that if she does not change her diet and lifestyle, she may develop diabetes as well.
On an average day, Clara eats two jelly doughnuts for breakfast, chicken nuggets with sweet and sour sauce and a large cola for lunch and goes to the drive-through for dinner to grab a super-sized bugger, fries and a large cola. She usually snacks on potato chips or jelly beans during the day and is always sipping on cola.
Clara is concerned about her diet and decides to ask her friend Mary, a nutrition major, for advice. Mary gives Clara some suggestions. First she tells Clara that while her diet is very high in fat it is also very high in carbohydrate, especially simple sugars. “I should try that diet advertised on T.V. If I cut all of the carbohydrate, I can lose 50 pounds (23 kgs) this month!” Clara announces. Mary rolls her eyes. Mary explains that Clara needs carbohydrates for energy. Complex carbohydrates are good, but too much simple sugar is not. Mary tells Clara that she should snack on fresh fruits instead of jellybeans and eat more starch and fibre. Plain baked potatoes instead of French fries and high-fibre, fortified cereals instead of high-fat doughnuts would be healthier. Small changes like these could improve her diet dramatically.
“Try not drinking so much soft drink,” Mary suggests. “Bottled water or a glass of milk would be much more beneficial.” “I can’t drink milk!” Clara says. “Last time I had a glass of milk, my stomach hurt for hours. I think that I am lactose intolerant, since it runs in my family.”
Clara and Mary discuss cow’s milk alternatives and Clara thanks Mary for advice and goes home to plan her new healthy...