Count your carbohydrates, for the best benefits. Tracking carbs is a healthy practice for those watching their blood sugar or trying to lose weight.  

Despite being the most maligned group of foods, carbohydrates are also some of the most delicious. Think fresh bread, pound cake, brownies and cheesecake, and you’ll get the jist. But wait a minute. These yummy foods aren’t the only carbs around.

Many foods contain carbs

So many foods contain carbohydrates, in the form of starches or sugars. When you eat them, they convert into glucose, which is absorbed in your bloodstream.  The more carbs you eat, the more glucose you generate, and the higher your blood sugar level. Consequently, you need to watch your carbohydrate intake.

Calculate your optimum amount

You can estimate the right amount for yourself based on your height, weight, gender, activity level, health status, and the type of diet you want to follow. Once you know how much you need, it becomes simpler to can pick the right foods at mealtimes. Consequently, you can make healthier choices and monitor your calorie intake.

Carbohydrates are present in food in either of 2 common forms, starches or sugars. The greater proportion of carbohydrates in your diet should come from foods that contain starches, rather than sugars.

Estimating the Right Amount

Controlling your carbohydrate intake is important, but this doesn’t mean you should completely eliminate carbohydrate containing foods from your diet. The reason is simple. Glucose is the most readily used fuel in the body, for both the muscles and brain. Depriving yourself of carbs often leads to low blood glucose levels, which can make you feel dizzy, and weak.

Replace simple with complex

So instead of stopping all carbs, you should replace simple carbohydrates with complex ones. This is easy to do. First, understand that carbs are present in foods either as starches, or sugars. The former kind are better for your health.

For instance, include foods that contain fibre and protein (such as whole grains, whole pulses, legumes, green vegetables) in your meals. These are digested more slowly, releasing glucose into the bloodstream at a slower pace.

Healthy Food: Best Sources of Carbs on a wooden background. Top view

Use the following table to determine the carbohydrate content of your meals:

Food Household measure and raw amounts Amount of carbohydrate per serving
Chapati 1 piece 14 g
Boiled Rice 1 cup 44 g
Apple 1 medium 24 g
Banana 1 medium 32 g
Milk, Cow’s 1 cup (250 ml) 11 g
Yogurt ½ cup (150 g) 4.5 g
Dal 1 medium bowl (30 g raw) 18 g
Potato 1 medium 34 g
Almonds A handful (approx. 28 g) 6 g
Bread 1 slice (approx. 30g) 15 g
Orange juice 1 cup (250 ml) 5 g

If your carbohydrate requirement is 220 g a day, you can distribute your intake in the following manner:

Early morning – 20 g

Breakfast – 60 g

Mid – morning – 20 g

Lunch – 50 g

Evening – 20 g

Dinner – 50 g