What do I do with the carbohydrates?

5 Jun


Every time we meet to teach a nutrition class, the audience has several questions about improving the way they eat. How many calories do I need? How do I read labels? Red top! Or Blue top? Of course … when they want to know what type of milk they should buy! Nevertheless, it is very probable that somebody is going to ask one of the most popular questions: What do I do with the carbohydrates?

The media bombard us regularly with information related to the different weight loss diets available in the market. Today’s blog is going to put very little attention to this matter. We will concentrate our attention in recognizing the positive benefits of eating carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates provide the necessary energy to perform multiple daily tasks, they help body organs work well; they help lower cholesterol and contribute to the sensation of fullness after finishing eating. They are stored in our body as glucose and glycogen. Glucose is an immediate source of energy and glycogen gets stored to be used later.

There are three main types of carbohydrates in our diet:

Sugar- Naturally in fruit and added to food

Starches- Found in cereals, pasta, crackers, bread, and in some vegetables like potatoes, corn and squash.

Fiber- Is the carbohydrate that does not have calories.


The most important recommendation about eating carbohydrates is related to their selection. We should prefer complex carbohydrates, because they are less processed. Examples of these are foods with whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes. Solid research shows that they can help reduce some types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. They usually contribute to regulate our sugar levels and provide nutrients that you can’t find in other type of foods. Also a healthy diet should include between 25 to 35 grams of fiber on our daily diet.

How do we answer the key question: What do I do with the carbohydrates?

Unless your doctor, your nutritionist or a healthcare professional advises you on the contrary, don’t eliminate them from your diet. Read labels closely to make sure that you chose the right portions of complex and healthy carbohydrates that are rich in nutrients and fiber. Enjoy their goodness!



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