Defining Carbohydrates in the Diet

Written by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

Carbohydrates impact our daily diet in a big 'weigh'.


Carbohydrates provide the body with one of its main sources of energy - the other being 'fat'.  

They are essential to a healthy daily diet, even though they are scowled at by many in the Diet World these days.

Why so?

Foods Rich in Starch & Sugar Also Rich in Calories

Basically, they are associated with the Twin-Evils of dieting: sugar and starch. It doesn't require a dietary genius to know that foods which are mined with sugar grams are very rich in caloric content.

And what pairs well with sugar? Yes indeed - fats. When we prepares that are plentiful in carbohydrate grams, they are often the root of 'Simple Carbs' which do not provide substantial vitamins and nutrients in comparison to 'Complex Carbs'.

And they are often mined with sugar and fat - and yes, calories which lead to weight gain when the individual enjoys more than their body uses to meet its energy requirements.

While trimming foods which are rich in carbohydrate content should not be a dieter's first and foremost health goal, trimming those foods which contain a substantial amount of fats, sugars and starches should be - along with foods which contain 'empty calories'.

Examples of foods which should be limited, restricted or omitted include: sugary soda and other sugar-loaded beverages, cream, The Pastry Family - including those little-to-jumbo doughnuts, ice cream, gravy, butter and foods that are often consumed at snack time which are mined with more dietary fat and sugar grams than nutritional values for the dieter.

The three main types of carbohydrates are:

1. Monosaccharides with a chemical structure of glucose, galactose and fructose. Monosaccharides are the simplest of carbohydrates.


2. Disaccharides with a chemical structure of sucrose, lactose and maltose.

3. Polysaccharides with a chemical structure of starch (the most important carb) and cellulose. Polysaccharides are comprised of a long chain of saccharide molecules.

Examples of complex (unrefined) carbohydrate foods are cereals and vegetables that contain sugars, starch and cellulose, as well as vitamins and protein.

Pure (unrefined) carbs act as quick energy sources and contain neither cellulose or nutrients. A good example is table sugar.

About 50 - 60% of the daily diet should consist of complex carbohydrates.

Studies indicate that individuals who are on a restricted carb diet soon regain the weight after quitting the diet which supports facts that lost weight is more often than not related to water lost from the body due to the rich sources of protein mined within most carbohydrate-restricted weight loss plans - rather than due to true body-fat loss.

Example of a Healthy Weight Loss Plan

Pair your diet menus with a wise dose of activity which you will enjoy going forward. After the unhealthy pounds are missing in action, you must continue to exercise to maintain your new, healthier body.

The following is an easy, straight-forward example of a diet menu based on 1,500 calories:

Tea, Coffee & Soda Times: Allow 120 calories for these type of beverages and drinks throughout the day.

Snack Times: For the two snacks of the day, enjoy 1 peach and 1 small banana. Total Caloric Values: 130 kcals.

Breakfast Menu: 2 whole grain waffles served with 1 cup of whole strawberries and topped with reduced fat whipped cream that contains 15 calories per serving. Also add a cup of reduced fat or skim milk to the breakfast meal. Total Caloric Values: 350

Lunch Menu: 1 serving of reduced fat chili and as a weight loss tip - Wendy's Restaurant serves an awesome chili. The large container has only 310 calories and is low in fat content.

Also add a serving of whole grain saltine crackers, a serving of yellow or white hominy and a serving of mushrooms that have been sliced and cooked in minimal extra virgin olive oil on the stove top until they turn a beautiful golden brown; add salt and cracked pepper.

Also enjoy one cup of skim or reduced fat milk. Total Caloric Values: 500 kcals.

Dinner Menu: 3 ounces of pan-grilled flounder or other flatfish, 1/2 cup of steamed rice, a teaspoon of reduced fat margarine, a serving of steamed green beans, a serving of steamed baby carrots and a slice of pumpernickel bread. Total Caloric Values: 400 kcals.


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