Are carbohydrates bad for you? From the way they are talked about you would think they are horrible. There are food plans available that are low carb or no carbs. I know people who have lost lots of weight on these plans. I even tried a low carb food plan for a while. I had reached a plateau in my weight loss at one point and wanted to get the scale moving again. The scale did move but I was miserable. My reason for wanting to try the low carb plan wasn’t because I thought it was a food plan that I could follow the rest of my life. I did it to get the scale moving. Once I realized this wasn’t for me I went back to what I was doing-watching my calories, fat and carbohydrate intake. I did regain the weight I had lost. It was then that I realized, I needed carbohydrates. But I knew some carbs were better than others. So I went about the task of figuring out what are carbohydrates and how they are classified. I have tried my best to make it simple so you can figure out for yourself what is best for you. Here we go…..
Carbohydrates are a source of energy for your body. Kind of like fuel is for your car. They are made of starches, sugar and fiber. When you eat a carbohydrate your body breaks it down and turns it into glucose (sugar). There are complex and simple carbohydrates.
Complex Carbohydrate: Complex carbohydrates are also known as starches. These are made of three or more linked sugars. This type of carbohydrate takes longer to digest.
Simple Carbohydrate: Simple carbohydrates are chemically made of one or two sugars. This type of carbohydrate is digested quickly. The natural simple carbohydrates also have vitamins, fiber and other nutrients.
Here Is A Short List Of Certain Carbohydrates
Complex Carbohydrates: Bran Cereal, Brown Rice, Yams, Multi-Gran Breads, Whole Wheat Pastas, Potatoes, Corn, Pumpkin, Peas, Beans
Simple Carbohydrates: Sugar, Honey, Candies & Cakes, White Bread, White Pasta, Soda, White Flour
Natural Simple Carbohydrates: Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Oranges, Apples, Pineapple, Plums
If you take something away, replace it with a better choice. Make a chart of carbohydrates you want to limit then write what a better choice would be. For example, a carbohydrate to limit would be sugary cereal. A smarter carbohydrate choice would be bran cereal. The better choice would be rolled oats.
How many grams of carbohydrates should you eat at day? Personally I average between 250g – 270g. I eat more complex carbohydrates and try really hard to limit the simple carbohydrates. I do eat natural simple carbohydrates but still try not to overdo it. I have learned over the years if I stay between those numbers my body functions pretty well. I have to also add-I am fairly active. I exercise 5 to 6 days a week and some of the exercises are intense. I have to fuel my body for the activities I do. So you may not need as many grams of carbohydrates.
How do I know how many carbs are in my foods? If there is a nutrition label on anything you buy, it will list the grams of carbohydrates. If you are buying fruits or vegetables, some stores have nutrition information located near the items. You can also do a search on the internet using your favorite search engine to find the nutrition information for fruits and vegetables.
How many carbs make a “low carb” eating plan? From what I could find reading on the internet, a low carb program could be as low as 20g a day and as high as 150g a day.
If you are diabetic, consult with your doctor or nutritionist of what type of food plan would be best for you to follow.
This content is for informational purposes only. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about any food plans you are thinking of starting before you start them.