Can we Eat Carbs?


A: In brief, fully yes, but questioning this concept is understand in our current era of fearmongering about foods – processed meats one week, potatoes and corn the next.

Think of foods as packages of nutrients with varying amounts of the three calorie-containing nutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat. For example: In their natural form, fruits and vegetables check mainly carbohydrates with a bit of protein and nearly no fat. Legumes and fat-free milk check mainly carbohydrates and some protein.

There are three types of carbohydrates in foods: starches, sugars and diet fiber. Foods that check carbohydrates fall into two main groups.


More-healthy sources: fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and low- or no-fat dairy foods.

Less healthy sources: sophisticated grains (most pizza crust, most bagels, muffins and pastries), sugary drinks and sweets.

Carbohydrates become the body’s primary energy source, glucose, once it’s digested. In addition to energy, healthy sources of carbohydrates offer myriad vitamins and minerals, several which are marek as called “shortfall nutrients” – those we don’t eat enough of – in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report. On the list: vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, magnesium and fiber.


The concept that Americans eat a high-carbohydrate diet (and that this is one of the reasons for our more pounds) doesn’t stand up to the stats. Data from the most recent (2011-12) What We Eat in America survey, done by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Agriculture Department, show that American adults get about half of our calories from carbohydrates. This count has remained fairly constant over the years.



A eating plan

There are four main quality-control tactics you can take, from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines:
– Lower added sugars.
Limit refined grains, particular those with added sugars, saturated fats and sodium.
Eat more fruits and veggies.
– Make at least half of all grains-based foods whole grains.
More particular, at 2,000 calories a day, an average intake recommended for many Americans, the Healthy U.S.-Style eating pattern provided in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report suggests these counts:
– Fruit: 2 cups per day.
Vegetables: 2 1/2 cups per day.
Legumes: 1 1/2 cups per week.
– Grains (all types): 6 ounces per day.