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Correct Daily Carbohydrates IntakeCarbohydrates are one of the three most important nutrients for your body (along with protein and fat). Without carbs, your body wouldn't be able to produce the energy it needs to function. Why is that? Simple: carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for your muscles. Every time you stand, sit, run, walk, or lift, your muscles are burning energy derived from carbohydrates. For the average person, your diet should provide a large proportion of energy from carbs. If you exercise frequently, your carbohydrate intake should be even higher. A good carbohydrate intake enables muscles to work harder throughout a workout, helping to burn more calories and maintain weight. But, there is such a thing as TOO many carbs. Remember that your body turns carbs into blood sugar, and too many carbs can cause a spike in your blood sugar. Your body will compensate by producing more insulin, which causes your blood sugar levels to plummet--to lower than normal levels. As a result, you will feel hungry and crave something that gives you a rapid increase in blood sugar, and the vicious cycle occurs all over again. So, what is the correct daily carbohydrates intake? How many grams of carbs should you be eating? The answer depends entirely on your goals…
For a Normal, Healthy PersonIf your goal is simply to eat a healthy amount of carbs per day, you should get between 30 and 40% of your daily calories from carbs. This will ensure that you have enough energy to go about your daily activities, but you won't overdo it on the blood sugar. Let's break that down into what you can eat every day: - 1 serving of fruit - 3-5 servings of veggies - 3-5 servings of whole grains (If you want more fruit, eliminate one serving of grains.) This will give you enough energy to function and keep your body working well.
For an Active PersonMore active people burn through more energy every day, meaning they need more energy available when they exercise. You should increase your carb intake to anywhere between 35 and 50% of daily calories, as that will ensure your body always has readily available energy in your muscles. What can you eat every day? - 2-3 servings of fruit - 3-5 servings of vegetables
- 3-6 servings of whole grains This way, your body will always be ready to get moving!
For a Person Trying to Lose WeightIf your goal is to drop pounds, cutting back on carbs is the smart thing to do! Reducing carb intake forces your body to burn fat, both the fat you eat and the fat stored around your body. Cutting back to 25% daily calories from carbs is the smart play, and you can increase your protein and fat intake to make up for the deficit. What can you eat every day? - 1 serving of fruit - 3-5 servings of veggies - 2-3 servings of whole grains Follow this, and you'll see results in no time! Be warned: A diet with a low carbohydrate intake can make exercise feel tough, especially if the exercise is anaerobic. It will take your body a while to get used to burning more fat for energy rather than carbs, so don't be surprised if your energy levels drop for a few weeks as you make the switch to a high-fat, low-carb diet. Changing to this low carbohydrate intake can be the smart way to lose weight and burn serious fat! Where to get your carbs from Many processed foods high in carbohydrates also tend to have a high fat and calorie content, so these should be limited when trying to lose weight. For example, potatoes are low in calories and a great source of complex carbohydrate. However potatoes are also the main ingredient in hash browns from McDonalds, yet "weight for weight" they contain more fat and calories than a cheeseburger or Big Mac! When planning your carbohydrate intake, you should try to consume fresh natural foods and ingredients. Check labels on processed foods for their fat and calorie content. As a rule of thumb if the product has more than 15 grams of fat in 100 grams of product then it should be limited or a much smaller portion consumed.