Carbohydrates

The problem with carbs is not because they are bad for you, the problem is they taste so darn good!

If you eat more than your body needs, you’ll gain weight. 45-65 percent of daily calories should be carbs – 4 calories/gram of carbs. Women should aim for 800-1200(200-300g) calories of carbs and men should aim for 950 – 1500(237-375) calories of carbs.

Should I eat more carbs if I’m active? The percentage of carbs should stay the same. You may be needing more calories but always keep your carbs at 45-65% of your caloric intake.

Benefits of carbs:

  • Carbohydrates are your body’s main fuel source. Whole grains and dietary fiber help reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. The bulky and high fiber carbohydrates found in fruit, veggies, and whole grains aid weight control helping you feel full on fewer calories.

Complex Carbs vs Simple Carbs:

  • Complex Carbs: Complex carbs are higher in fiber and digest more slowly, making them more filling and a good option for weight control.
  • Simple Carbs: Simple carbs have a high glycemic index and can raise blood sugar levels. However, some simple cabs include dairy and fruit. The bad ones are candy, soda, chips, syrups.

Which carbs to eat? Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables without added sugar. Whole grains like brown rice are better than refined counterparts such as white rice that goes through a process that strips nutrients. Legumes such as green beans, black beans, corn, lentils are low in fat and high in folate, potassium, iron, and magnesium and fiber.

Fiber is important when choosing your carbs. Without fiber, it’s more likely that you’ll get hungrier sooner and you’re not going to feel as satisfied. So, eating simple carbs without fiber can lead to overeating.

  • Cheese pizza vs chicken breast, sautéed broccoli served on top of a bed of whole grain brown rice.