Specifically, carbohydrate intake is important for people with diabetes, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), or elevated triglycerides. Carbohydrate containing foods have a direct effect on blood sugar readings and simple carbohydrates like candy and regular soda have a direct effect on both blood sugar and triglyceride levels. Calories are important for everyone to consider in relation to maintaining a normal weight. USDA recommendations advise to have a balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat containing food. By consuming a balanced diet you will achieve the essential nutrients your body needs for good health.
A Answers (3)
Kodi Moore, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
It is important to consume the right amount of calories and carbohydrates to meet your needs. Practicing mindful eating, really listening to your body and eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied can help you learn to consume the amount of calories your body needs without having to count them. I like the MyPlate model (visit www.myplate.gov for more info) to help ensure I'm getting a good variety of healthy foods in the right proportions. MyPlate splits your plate into 4 quadrants, half your plate should be fruits and vegetables and roughly one quarter should be protein and roughly one quarter should be grains. With one serving of dairy on the side. MyPlate is great for the general population. However, if you have specific needs, an illness, or athletic training needs, for example, consult a registered dietitian for an individualized meal plan.
Chris Patrick , NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
It is important to regulate both carbs and calories when designing your nutrition plan. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine a carbohydrate intake of between 50-70% (of your daily calories) is recommended for most moderately active adults. This will provide sufficient food volume and the fuel necessary for energy and productive workouts. At the end of the day however, it is the total amount of calories consumed vs. the total number of calories burned that will determine whether you lose or gain weight.
There are many popular diets today which prohibit or severely restrict carbohydrate consumption. While a drastic reduction of calories (by restricting carbs) will result in temporary weight loss, this is not the long-term solution. Carbs are a primary source of energy for all bodily functions, including exercise. If energy is not available, you're workouts will surely suffer. You will fatigue faster and have considerably less strength and endurance.
Complex carbs, in particular, provide a feeling of fullness and contribute to the satiety value of other foods. To stick to any nutritional plan for any length of time, you need to feel satisfied. Feelings of hunger can and will lead to poor food choices and overeating. The majority of your carbohydrates should come from complex sources.
Carbs play an important role in your overall nutritional profile. While weight loss, or gain, is dependent on calories consumed regardless of their source, carbs should make up the highest percentage of your macro-nutrient calories.