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Carbohydrates: What Are They and What is Considered Low Carb?


If you have looked into diet plans at all in the past few years, it is likely that you have heard about low carb diet plans. But just what are carbohydrates? And how many are you allowed to have when you are attempting a low-carb diet? 

What are Carbohydrates? 

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are the starches, sugars, and fibers in fruits, vegetables, grains, and some dairy products. They are one of our basic food groups and important to a healthy diet plan. These macronutrients are our body’s main source of energy and they are one of the three ways our bodies gain both energy and calories. Without the three macronutrients which are protein, fats, and carbohydrates, our bodies simply would not function properly. 

Carbohydrates provide us with the fuel our central nervous system needs for our muscles to work. They prevent protein from being used as a source of energy and allow for fat metabolism to occur. Carbs are essential for our brain function. They help out with our overall mood and memory. And they offer us a quick source of energy. 

What are Simple and Complex Carbohydrates?

Carbs are classified into two groups, simple and complex. The difference between them is their chemical structure, and how fast the sugar is absorbed or digested by our bodies. Simple carbohydrates are digested and absorbed faster than complex carbs. Therefore, they can provide us with a fast boost of energy. But that energy doesn’t last as long as it does with complex carbs. Simple carbohydrates are known as monosaccharides. They contain one or two sugars. On the other hand, complex carbs are known as polysaccharides. These foods contain three or more sugars. 

Examples of simple carbs include candy and sugary soft drinks. Complex carbs include starchy foods like bread, potatoes, cereal, lentils, and corn. 

How Many Carbs are Allowed in a Low-Carb Diet? 

Lowering the number of carbs that you consume each day can help you lose weight. By reducing your daily carb intake, you help to reduce your appetite over time and can successfully lose weight without the need of counting calories. 

It is recommended that we consume between 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates each day while on a 2,000 calorie per day diet. However, if you want to lose weight, you will get better results if you limit your daily carb intake to between 50 to 150 carbs. One of the easiest ways to do this is by replacing the high-carb foods you currently eat with healthy fats, vegetables, and protein. 

Low carb diet plans are not just beneficial for your weight loss needs. They can also help you lower your cholesterol, regulate blood sugar levels, and lower triglycerides. 

Are Low-Carb Diets Good For Everyone? 

Everyone can benefit from lowering the number of carbohydrates they eat each day. But there are some low carb diet plans that require you to drastically cut down on your carb intake. While that can be effective for weight loss purposes, if you have a health condition such as diabetes, you could end up consuming too few carbohydrates. While too many carbs can be dangerous, consuming too few can also cause glucose levels to drop. It is best to consult with a doctor if you have diabetes to find out what they suggest. 

At Z.E.N. Foods, we are committed to helping our customers make the most of their diet plans. That’s why we offer a broad range of dieting options to help you find the right options that fit your needs. For more information on our home meal delivery diet plans, get in touch with a Z.E.N. Foods consultant today for more details.

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