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The Truth About Carbs

Loaf sliced white bread with ears wheatAre carbohydrates good for you or will they cause weight gain?

Carbohydrates have a bad reputation and a lot of people who are trying to lose weight end up avoiding them like the plague. But, a majority of nutritionists would agree that carbs are 100 percent necessary for peak athletic performance and a well-balanced diet.

What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are sugars that break down inside the body to create glucose. Glucose is moved around the body in the blood and is the primary source of energy for the brain, muscles, and other essential cells. Carbs provide four calories of energy per gram and are the body’s preferred fuel source for cardio training, weight lifting and sports.

Are All Carbs Created Equal?

Well, no. Before you binge on white rice and cake, it’s important to know that there are good carbs and bad carbs.

Good Carbs

Good carbs are moderate in calorie density, devoid of refined sugars, high in naturally fiber, very low cholesterol, and high in nutrients. Some examples of good carbs include brown rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, starchy vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables.

Bad Carbs

Bad carbs are high in refined sugars, low in fiber, low in nutrients, high in saturated fat, and high in cholesterol. The main issue with eating bad carbohydrates is they often cause your insulin levels to spike.

How Many Carbs Should I Be Eating Each Day?

Experts suggest that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your daily caloric intake. This translates to about 225 to 325 grams per day.

Contact your physician or a nutritionist if you want more information on carbohydrates in your diet.