How many carbs should you eat in a day?

Are you eating too little or too much of carbs every day?  In this article, we are describing how many carbs you should eat in a day.  Also giving a little background about the carbs that you need to know.

When talking about dietary it is always good to base out from the official Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  These guidelines not only for Americans but also useful for the entire world. We have touched based on the dietary guidelines to help in the amount of daily intake of carbs for you.

Your Carbohydrates Awareness

Our body energy comes from three types of food intake or macronutrients.  They are Carbs, Protein and FAT.

Carbs are nothing but a short term used to refer to carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are fiber, starches, and sugars.

Fiber, dietary fibers are sourced from grains, cereals, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts and, seeds. 

Starches are sourced from vegetables, grains, and legumes.

Sugars (glucose, fructose, and lactose) are sourced naturally from foods and beverages.

Most of the carbohydrates are from plants.  These plants have the energy structure required for our body.  These are fibers, sugars, and starches.

Other sources of carbs are milk and dairy products.  This is because of the lactose present in the milk. Dairy products have sugar.  There are no carbs in fish and meat.

How many calories covered by carbohydrates?

U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that carbs cover about 50 % of your total intake of calories per day. Now you may understand the important role of cabs from your daily diet. 

How many carbs you should eat in a day

You have to base your carbs intake from your daily total calorie intake. As mentioned carbs cover 50% of the calories of your diet.  That is a huge portion.

For example, say your daily calorie intake is 2000 calories.  Then carbs cover 1000 calories of your diet.   Every calorie has 4 grams of carbsThat means you have to consume 250 grams of carbs every day from your diet.

Use the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) calculator, if you are unsure of your daily calorie intake. BMR is calculated using the attributes of age, height, and weight.  

The right way to consume carbohydrates

You may think excluding carbs from your diet you could reduce your calorie intake.  You may also expect to reduce your weight by consuming fewer carbs. But this is not true.  You can gain weight by eating other sources of macronutrients protein and fat.

Consuming fewer carbs may make you feel exhausted with your energy levels.  This will affect your fitness and daily physical activities. It also will affect the energy required for your normal body functions.

How to know your carbs intake per day

Use the nutrient database

The USDA National Nutrient Database provides the carbohydrate amount against all types of fresh food.

Make a list of types of food that you eat.  Then capture the grams of carbs you consume form the nutrient database.  It is a large database. Search the food item in the database to find the carbs level in grams.

Reading the Food Labels

Most of your packaged food purchases have the food labels on it.  Read and know the carbs portion of the food. Then calculate the total grams of carbs by the number of servings you consume every day.

Maintain a food diary

Use a simple food diary in an excel.  Record the carbs consumed in grams against the food you take. Doing this bit of work gives you an idea of the amount of carbs intake by you every day. 

Daily carbs intake information together with total calories you are supposed to eat is what you need to know. 

BMR calculator is useful to decide your total calorie intake.  Based on these two key information you can decide how much of carbs you have to eat every day.

If you wish to go bit advance use the app called Cron-O-Meter. It allows you to track your food intake, nutrition, fitness and health data. It is very easy to use. Yes, it is free to use too.

Know your type of carbs

Here is a quick short detail on the types of carbs.  What type of carbs you should choose to eat?

What are good carbs and bad carbs?

There are two types of carbohydrates.  Complex carbs and simple carbs.

Always opt for complex carbohydrates food.  The complex carbs are the main source of energy for your body.  It provides you energy for the normal functions of your body and also for the physical activities.

Normal functions like breathing, digestion process, heartbeats that are needed to be alive.  Physical activities are like walking, exercising, and any other forced physical tasks by you on your body.

Complex carbs also have useful vitamins and minerals needed for our body.

Read the article for more detail on the health benefits of complex carbohydrates including carbs sources and its levels.

Simple carbs are made of glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose or maltose.  The sources of simple carbs are white sugar, candy, honey, and soft drinks.  These have too little nutritional value but more calories. That is not so good for your health.  So, watch out and avoid intake of simple carbs in your diet.

Sources of good carbs and bad carbs

Good Carbs should be the main portion of your diet.  It makes you eat less. It has nutritional value.  Good carbs deliver many health benefits. Good fiber-rich carbs are great for good digestive health.

Bad carbs as mentioned earlier has no nutritional value.  It has too many calories can cause weight gain. Not good for your health.

Good Carbs Foods are Vegetables, Legumes, Whole grains, Nuts, Seeds and Tubers.

Bad Carbs Foods are Sugary Drinks, White Bread, Pastries, Fruit Juices, Ice Cream, Chocolates and Candies, Potato Chips, and French Fries

Summary

Choose always complex carbs in your diet.  Check always what are good carbs and ensure they in your everyday diet.

Avoid simple carbs.  Simple carbs are the bad carbs.   Make a note of what are bad carbs above and remember to avoid it.

Good carbs in their natural form more healthier than processed food. Refined carbs are very unhealthy for your body.

It is useful to maintain a calorie counter or a carbohydrate counter to plan your diet.  People with type 2 diabetes can effectively use these counters to control sugar levels in their blood.   

References:

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans

USDA Food Data Central

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