Are you Eating More Carbs than you Think?
I hear more often than not “I’m not eating any carbohydrates. How is my body going to function?”
Just cutting out obvious sources of carbohydrate may be adding up to more carbs than you think. How many carbohydrates does one need per day?
The answer to that question is very individual. If you are a healthy active person who moderately exercises and wants to lose weight you may only need 100 grams of carbohydrate per day. If you exercise more vigorously you may need more. If you are diabetic and/or insulin resistant you may need a little less.
What types of foods contain carbohydrates? I usually measure carbohydrates in terms of a slice of bread which contains 15 grams. The obvious ones are potatoes, rice, pasta, cereal, etc. A cup of rice has 45 grams of carbohydrate. A half cup of grape nuts contains 47 grams of carbohydrate and a bagel has 60 grams!
Fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, and dairy products contain carbohydrates as well. One serving of fruit has 15 grams of carbohydrate. A cup of non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli contains about 10 grams of carbohydrate.
One ounce of nuts which is about 20 almonds has about 6 grams of carbohydrate. A cup of plain yogurt has about 15 grams.
Eating your carbohydrates mostly from fruits, veggies, nuts and plain dairy adds up to about 130-150 grams per day depending on the volume of food you eat. If you add just 1 cup of rice and 2 slices of bread you bump up the total to a little over 200 grams. Add a few pretzels or chips and you’re up to over 250 grams.
Condiments can also contain large amounts of carbohydrate. Ketchup and barbecue sauce register at 10 grams for just 2 tablespoons.
Just cutting out the obvious carbs starchy or processed carbs may mean you may be following a balanced diet. Moderation in terms of carbohydrate is the healthiest way to prevent inflammation and disease.
July 6, 2010 @ 8:16 pm
This was a really good and informative post. I would love to see a post that analyzes and compares the carbs in a sandwich, for example, compared to the contents of that sandwich without the bread.
July 11, 2010 @ 8:38 pm
Okay – I will put that one on the agenda for future blogs. Thanks Ray!
January 21, 2011 @ 8:47 pm
Just saw in Taubes new book he and the Duke diet program recommend 20 g carbs max per day for weight loss.
Tough to do long-term I think.