Carbohydrates are important for our bodies for many reasons including giving ENERGY to all our cells and aiding in the recovery from physical activity.
Carbohydrates can also be a good source of fiber, which is very important.
Although the number of carbohydrates needed varies from person to person, to maintain weight the average active person needs approximately 45% - 65% of the total number of calories from carbohydrate.
For blood pressure, the range was 55% of total daily intake.
If you want to get specific, a good place to start is to shoot for about 30-45 grams of carbs per meal and about 0-20 grams of carbs for snacks.
Where do we get carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are mainly found in starchy foods like grains and starchy vegetables (root vegetables and corn), fruits, and dairy.
Other foods like non-starchy vegetables, beans/legumes, nuts, and seeds also contain carbs, but in lesser amounts.
Carbohydrates can be categorized as refined or unrefined; they are also called processed or unprocessed, simple or complex.
Unrefined carbohydrates are full of nutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for the production of energy in the human body.
Examples of unrefined carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
BONUS! By adding fresh, whole foods into your diet, a big benefit you may notice right away is improved digestion and elimination. Yay!
Refined Carbs are stripped of nutrients and other additives and chemicals have been added to take the place of what was taken out.
Many of the additives are addictive and harmful to our health.
These are some of the foods that cause us to have energy crashes and put us on the blood sugar roller coaster ride.
Refined carbohydrates include foods such as: packaged cereals, white bread, white rice, white flour, chips, most pasta, cakes and candy.
These foods, obviously, are best to limit in your diet.
That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a ‘treat’ now and then, but just be conscious of how much you consume each day.
Awareness is the first important step and this is where tracking your food can be very helpful.
One thing we are NOT going to focus on in this program is feeling guilty about food!
Food is meant to be enjoyed and the more healthier choices you make each day, the better you will feel and the less frequently you’ll even WANT the processed, refined and less nutritious options.
Your body will start to CRAVE the healthy foods!
Pay attention to your food and identify the carbohydrates. Use the Macro Cheat Sheet to help. This might be a big realization that they ARE EVERYWHERE!!!
One of the biggest challenges is to switch our thought process about carbs. Carbs aren’t bad.
Were you told they were? We need to eat the right carbs… think how can I add fiber to my meal and that will be your carb.