How Many Carbs Should You Eat?
Since the Atkins diet became popular a few years ago, carbohydrates seem to be the biggest enemy of anybody that wants to watch their weight. However, the jury seems to be completely out. Some say carbs are horrible and should be removed from our diet, others say carbs are good for us and we need them. But which one is true?
The Argument Against Carbs
First of all, it is important to remember that nobody would suggest that you eat no carbs at all. Even the Atkins and Unleash Your Thin Diet are both low carb diets, not a zero carb diets. Carbohydrates are used by our body to produce energy. Although there is nothing wrong with this, if we are overweight, it would be better to make our body use other elements to produce energy. This is what the Atkins Diet tries to achieve.
“Low carbohydrate diets work not by cutting fat but by changing the body’s energy source. Out, at least in part, go carbohydrates forcing the body to change from using glucose as a quick energy fix to instead using stored fat. The body naturally becomes a fat burning machine. Research shows not only does this lead to weight being lost more quickly – and safely – but that it is also maintainable. The changes are lifelong without feeling restrictive.”- uk.atkins.com
The Argument for Carbs
There are many reasons to make sure that you do include carbs in your diet. The reality is that they do not make you fat anymore than any other nutrient does, so long as it is consumed in moderation. Carbs have many benefits, including the fact that they boost your mood, they can help you lose weight (if eaten at the right time), they help the health of your heart (Dr. Atkins himself ended up in hospital with a heart attack, by the way) and they help with your memory and cognitive functioning.
How Much Carbs Should You Eat?
Clearly, the argument for carbs is actually a lot stronger than the argument against carbs. However, it is all about moderation. So how much carbs should you actually eat?
“The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories. So, if you get 2,000 calories a day, between 900 and 1,300 calories should be from carbohydrates. That translates to between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates a day.” – mayoclinic.com
Whether you decide to eat that amount or slightly less depends on which side of the fence you are on. Do you side with those who are against carbs, or those who are for carbs? Do you prefer your carbs in the morning or night?
Either way, you should not eat more than the recommended amount of carbs if you want to lose weight. Not just that, even if you side with those who are pro-carbs, you shouldn’t eat more than those because the reported health benefits of carbs are gone if you eat too many of them. Carbs will always remain controversial, with arguments for an against, and there will probably never be a final answer.