For many of us, the word "carbohydrates" has always been synonymous with breads, sweets (candy, cake and cookies) and sugar. For years, weight-conscious people shunned carbohydrates as their natural enemy. Who ever knew that carbohydrates or complex carbohydrates, that is, are actually our most efficient energy source and a cornerstone for weight management?
Simple carbohydrates are sugars, sucrose, lactose, dextrose, (and any other sugar that ends with "oses") are virtually unnecessary for good health. We are all addicted to the "sweet" tastes and yet they are very low in nutritional value and high in calorie content.
On the other hand, complex carbohydrates, the natural starches and sugars found in fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, are good sources of essential nutrients and vitamins. They provide the body with easily digestible fuel for energy, and are high in dietary fiber (which may lower cholesterol levels and may reduce the chance of heart attacks and decrease risk of many forms of cancer).
Carbohydrates supply only 4 calories per gram (as opposed to fats for instance, which supply 9 calories per gram), and the fiber in complex carbohydrates has the bonus effect of "filling you up" thus decreasing the tendency to over-eat. Certainly we would want to fill up on complex carbohydrates as versus fats.
Most nutritionists agree that 60% of your daily caloric intake should come from complex carbohydrates. Therefore, if you eat 2,000 calories a day to maintain you current weight, then 1,200 of those calories would ideally come from complex carbohydrates. This means that you should be eating 300 grams of complex carbohydrates. Although this may sound like a lot of eating, it really is not.
Increasing your intake of complex carbohydrates can improve your body’s energy stores and can help fill you up with fewer calories. The good news is you can eat more, have more energy, and feel better by making complex carbohydrates a critical part of your diet.
Be sure to keep your intake of water high. As with this proper nutritional value being met there will also be the need for more water too.