WELLNESS | Nutrition: Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates (carbs) are one of three macronutrients and contrary to popular belief (thanks fad diets!), they are crucial for a properly functioning body, as they provide most of the body’s energy. Carbs protect our muscles by being the body’s primary source for energy preventing the body from eating its own muscles. Further, they provide the necessary nutrients for “good” bacteria to perform their digestive functions.

    How many carbs should you be consuming?  

Carbohydrates are generally distinguished as simple or complex. Simple carbs such as milk, fruits, candy, and soda provide little to no nutritional value and lack vitamins and minerals. Complex carbs, on the other hand, contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Some examples of these are potatoes, beans, lentils, and oatmeal. 

How many carbs should you be consuming?     

The proper amount of carbs needed for optimal body function will vary from person to person. Variants such as height, weight, level of daily activity, among others will determine the level of intake. The Mediterranean diet calls for a minimal consumption of simple carbs and a high intake of complex carbs. It is generally recommended that complex carbs be consumed in the morning to provide the body with the fuel needed to be able to perform its daily activities. 

Can carbs make you gain weight?

Research shows that complex carbs actually help you feel fuller longer and curb your appetite resulting in fewer trips to the fridge while simple carbs are absorbed rapidly and cause a spike in blood sugar and energy. If that energy isn’t released or “burned” in the form of physical activity, it then stays in your body in the form of fat. 

The fact is that weight gain happens when you consume more calories than you burn whether these calories come from carbs or not. In other words, carbs aren’t synonymous with the numbers on the scale going up, it’s how you consume them that will ultimately make an impact on your weight.

Though diet trends come and go, one thing for certain is that balance is key when it comes to all things concerning your body and consuming a healthy amount of carbs is no exception. Carbs are not only essential to a healthy, balanced diet but they come in many delicious forms so next time you’re preparing breakfast, don’t forget the oatmeal!
Scroll to Top