The human body is a complex system that requires a variety of nutrients to function properly. Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients, alongside protein and fat. It is one of the most important, yet easily overlooked, parts of a healthy diet.
What exactly are they? Why do we need them? And from where can we get these carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are categorized into two types. Simple carbohydrates are refined sugars and starches that have been removed from their natural fiber and nutrients. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are found in whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. They are essential in our body to provide energy for us to perform well in our daily activities.
Furthermore, carbohydrates lower our triglycerides, resulting in an improvement in our cholesterol levels; they provide vitamins and minerals, allowing us to feel more satiated; and they provide daily fiber in our diet. So, what are some excellent carbohydrate sources? We can get them from vegetables, fruits, and sweet potatoes, which are a good source of complex carbohydrates, as well as rice and oatmeal. Carbohydrates should account for 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. So, if you consume 2,000 calories per day, carbohydrates should account for between 900 and 1,300 of those calories. This equates to 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates per day. It means that half of our plate is vegetables, and on the other side of this, you’re going to put some carbs.
One too many could lead to weight gain or health problems such as diabetes or heart disease which is why it’s important to be mindful about what you’re putting into your body.
So if you need a little bit more additional help for your diet, please contact us at NBS.