Carbs 101

Wellbeing

 

What are carbohydrates anyway?

The word “carbohydrate” is a broad term used to describe a large number of different compounds that are all composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The main forms of carbohydrates are different forms of sugar called monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides. Fibre is also a form of carbohydrate.

Why do we need carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are a critical source of fuel for your brain, nervous system and muscles, providing 17 kilojoules per gram. In the body, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is used to generate energy.

How many carbs should I eat?

Although the exact amount of carbohydrate needed by the body is unknown, approximately 15-60% of your daily energy should come from carbohydrates, with up to 10% coming from sugars.

Choosing Healthy Carbohydrates

When choosing carbs, quality is the name of the game. Wholegrains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes provide healthy carbohydrates and can be a great source of many important vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fibre and phytochemicals. On the flip side, be sure to manage your added sugar or refined carbohydrate intake.