CARBOHYDRATES/ FIBER: What does a healthy meal look like?

by Yasmin Nolasco

Are carbohydrates all evil? Though many diets like to eliminate carbohydrates, the truth is that we need carbohydrates for energy. Your body breaks down carbohydrates and uses them as energy for your body’s cells, tissues, and organs. There are three different kinds of carbohydrates: sugar, starch, and fiber. Sugar is also called simple carbohydrates because they are in the most basic form. They can be added to foods, such as the sugar in candy, desserts, processed foods, and regular soda. They also include the kinds of sugar that are found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and milk.

Starches are complex carbohydrates, which are made of lots of simple sugars strung together. Your body needs to break starches down into sugars to use them for energy. Starches include bread, cereal, and pasta. They also include certain vegetables, like potatoes, peas, and corn.

Fiber is also a complex carbohydrate. Your body cannot break down most fibers, so it passes through the body undigested. This is why fiber is very beneficial for our digestion: helps regulate the body’s sugar levels; helps you stay and feel full and prevent overeating; helps prevent stomach or intestinal problems, such as constipation; helps lower cholesterol. Fiber is found in many foods that come from plants, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains.

 Are you overeating carbohydrates on a daily? A sign of this is weight gain in the belly, sugar cravings, acne, bloating and constipation, high cholesterol, or high glucose sugar in your blood. Undiagnosed diabetes can also feel like lack of energy, head fog, excessive thirst or urination, dizziness, vomiting, excessive hunger, or blurred vision.

So how much carbohydrates should we limit our diet to every day? There are no one-size-fits-all amount of carbohydrates that people should eat. This amount can vary, depending on factors such as your age, sex, health, and whether or not you are trying to lose or gain weight. On average, people should get 45 to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates every day. If you are trying to lose weight it’s ideal you limit carbohydrates to 25g and 150g depending on your height and weight.

It’s very important that you focus on always including fiber and protein on your plate. This will help keep sugar and cholesterol levels low. What does a healthy meal look like?

For more nutrition advice, you can book a consultation or call our office at 240-766-4552.

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