Carbohydrates have gotten a really bad rap over the last few years being labelled as a “bad” food that should be avoided unless you are trying to gain weight.
So what are carbohydrates anyway? Carbohydrates are considered one of the three macronutrients that make up a healthy diet and provide our bodies with its main source of energy. The other two macronutrients are protein and fat.
The main types of carbs are fibre, starch and sugars. There are many sources of carbohydrates including breads, rice, pasta, cereal, fruits, vegetables and milk products. Starchy grains and veggies include breads, pasta, rice, cereals, beans, squash, corn, potatoes, yams, parsnips, and other root vegetables.
Usually when people refer to “bad” carbs they are typically referring to the starchy and sugary ones.
But here’s the thing, carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet – including the starchy ones and even the sugary ones like milk and 100% juices have their place.
According to Canada’s Food Guide, adults should aim to consume 45-65% of their daily calories from carbs, 10-35% from protein, and 20-35% fat. This means the majority of your calories should be coming from carbohydrates. Check out the chart on the left to get a visual of what that looks like for a day.
When deciding on what types of carbs to have, about half of your dinner plate should be made up of vegetables and fruits, a quarter of it with whole grains and/or legumes, and the remaining is protein.
Remember, just keep it simple!