Carbohydrates or carbs are the sugars, starches and dietary fiber that occur in plant foods and diary products. The body systems breaks them down to glucose which provides us with energy. It also contributes to our immune system and perform other functions.

Carbohydrates are found in foods like bread, pasta, beans, potatoes, rice and cereals. The misconception people have about beans is that it is rich in protein not carbohydrate but the truth of the matter is that its rich in carbohydrates not protein as such should be classified under carbohydrates.

Carbs play important and several roles in living organisms including giving energy. Each gram of carbohydrates provides 4 calories and the body breaks down this calories into glucose which is the major source of energy for the body and muscles.

Carbohydrates are one of the major macronutrients that the body needs in larger amounts, the other macronutrients are proteins and fats.


It is generally recommended that people consume between 45-65% of their total calories in the form of carbohydrates everyday. However carbohydrates needs to be based on many factors including body size, activity level and blood sugar control. Carbohydrates in food occur in various forms including the following.

DIETARY FIBER is a type of carbohydrates that the body cannot easily digest. It occurs in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and whole grains

TOTAL SUGARS includes sugars that occur naturally in foods such as diary products, it can as well be added as sugars which are majorly found in baked foods, sweets and desserts. The body systems easily digests and absorbs sugar.

SUGAR ALCOHOLS is a type of carbohydrate that the body systems does not fully absorb. They have a sweet taste and fewer calories to adding Sugar. Sugar alcohols are usually added to foods as reduced calorie sweeteners such as in chewing gum, baked goods and sweets.

Dietary fibers helps promote regular bowel movements, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol and may reduce a persons calorie intake.

Foods high in carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet, carbohydrates provide the body with glucose which is converted to energy which is used to support bodily functions and physical activity. Some types are richer than other types of carbohydrates.

The healthiest sources of carbohydrates are unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans. They usually promote good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, fiber and a host of important phytonutrients.

Unhealthy sources of carbohydrates include white bread, pastries, sodas and other high processed and refined foods. These items contain easily digested carbohydrates that usually contribute to weight gain, interfere with weight loss, promote diabetics and health diseases.

Try out these tips for adding healthy carbohydrates to your diets

  1. Start the day with whole grains like cereals, oats.
  2. Use whole grains bread for lunch or snacks.
  3. look beyond the bread rack, instead of bread try whole grains in salad form.
  4. Choose whole fruits instead of juice.
  5. Pass on potatoes and instead bring on beans because potatoes promote weight gain.

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