In the nutrition and fitness world, carbs do have a bad reputation. You had probably heard that carbs are bad for you, or heard about one of the many low-carb diets out there. Are carbs really bad? What are their importance? And how much should you eat? Let’s find out!
Why Do You Need Carbs?
Carbs are the body’s main source of energy fueling all of your activities, from going for a run to even breathing! Vegetables, and wholegrain choices are good sources of fiber. According to NHS Choices, fibers can promote good bowel health, reduce the risk of constipation, and some forms of fiber have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.
It is important to eat the right amount of carbs when you are following a weight loss plan. By replacing fatty foods and sugar with with foods rich in starch and fiber, you are more likely to reduce the number of calories in your diet. Also high fiber foods add bulk to your meal helping you feel full faster.
Do Carbs Make Us Fat?
Fact is, any food is fattening if overeaten. It is always about how much you eat that really matters. Eating too many calories – whether they are carbs, protein or fat – will lead to weight gain.
So, How Much Carbs Should You Eat?
NHS Choices advises that a third of your diet should be made up of starchy foods, such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta, and another third should be fruit and vegetables. This means that about half of your daily calorie intake should come from starchy foods, fruit and vegetables. Aim for at least five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. Choose for wholegrain starchy foods whenever you can.
Which Carbs should You Eat?
Let’s agree that sweets, chocolates, biscuits, cakes and soft drinks are on the ‘bad carb’ list. They are high in sugar and calories, and contribute to weight gain if you eat them too often, while providing few other nutrients. Fruits, vegetables, and wholegrain starchy foods – on the other hand – provide vitamins, minerals and fibers which can benefit our health. These are the type of carbs you should be eating!