Carbohydrates: The Breakdown

Carbohydrates: The Breakdown

There’s a great deal of confusion these days about carbohydrates, also known as “carbs.”  Should we eat them? Do they contribute to obesity and weight gain?

Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients, and are the main source of energy for our body and brain. In other words, we need carbohydrates.  

It is important to consider both the quality and quantity of carbohydrates. If the source of the carbohydrates we eat is of high quality, it will not only reduce blood sugar spikes, but will also supply many other valuable nutrients, such as antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.  A healthy serving for most people is about ½ cup with each meal. Keep in mind this is a ½ cup serving of ONE carbohydrate rich food with each meal.  

Best Sources of Carbohydrates

Eat up to ½ cup of the following carbohydrates with every meal: 

  • Starchy vegetables
    • Root vegetables such as potatoes, yams, turnips and parsnips
    • Corn
    • Green peas
    • Beets
  • Whole grains
    • Gluten free grains such as brown rice, oats, wild rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth and teff
    • Gluten grains such as wheat, rye and barley

Limit your consumption of the following carbohydrates to 3-4 per week:

  • Foods made with whole grains, such as bread, tortillas, pasta, pancakes, bagels and pizza crust

What to Avoid 

Be sure to avoid all foods made with refined (white) flour, such as bread, tortillas, pasta, pancakes, bagels and pizza.