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The Resume of Carbohydrate : A Misunderstood Macro

Carbohydrates have had really bad PR over the last few decades. From no carb diets, to gluten free diets, to paleo diets. Carbs have been the scape goat of nutrition calamities for years. Here we see this misunderstood macronutrient distributing resumes trying to get back on your plate!

Carby Hydrate

1 Misunderstood Macro Lane 519 432-1919 ext 260


As the main energy source in your diet, carbohydrates offer 4 calories per gram. Carbs want to set the record straight and win back lost fans though education about the different kinds, and the benefits of enjoying carbs in your diet daily. “Sugars”, “starch” and “carbs” or often confused, but these all fall under the umbrella term: carbohydrate.

Experience: (Different Kinds) Monosaccharides – “one sugar”

Glucose – Made by plants via photosynthesis or by animals in the liver. Glucose is turned into energy inside our cells. Fructose – Found in honey, fruits, and some root vegetables. Galactose – Not found alone in nature, part of building blocks of lactose.

Disaccharides – “two sugars”

Sucrose – “Table sugar” glucose and fructose

Lactose – The carbohydrate in dairy products made of glucose and galactose

Maltose – Glucose and glucose

Oligosaccharides “a few sugars” typically 3 – 10 monosaccharides

Some examples include: Fructo-oligosaccharides and Galacto-oligosaccharides. These are typically indigestible and are a source of food for probiotic bacteria in our colons.

Polysaccharides “many sugars”

Starch – Plant storage form of carb, made of many chains of glucose. Found in cereals, bread, pasta, grains and beans.

Glycogen – Animal storage form of carb: we store carbs in our liver and muscles ready to use in the form of glycogen.

Cellulose – Structural component of plant cell walls. Made of chains of hundreds of linked glucose molecules.

Chitin – Structural component of crustaceans

Fibre or Roughage: The indigestible portion of carbohydrate in plant foods.

Soluble Fibre – Dissolves in water. This fibre forms a gel which captures bile acids and allows our bodies to excrete them. This causes our body to breakdown cholesterol to replace the lost bile acids, thus soluble fibre when eaten in adequate quantities can lower cholesterol levels. This type of carbohydrate is a source of food for probiotic (good) bacteria living in our colons.

Insoluble Fibre – Does not dissolve in water. This adds bulks to our stool and helps keep our intestinal walls healthy.

Public Appearances (Food Sources of Carbohydrates)

Vegetables and Fruit: Starchy veg (potatoes, cassava, yams, corn, peas), other veg have a small amount of carb in them. All fruit including fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and fruit juice. Grain Products: Rice, pasta, breads, crackers, and cereal are some examples.

Milk and Alternatives: Milk, yogurt, soy beverages contain carb. Meat and Alternatives: Beans, lentils, and dried peas.

Snack Foods: Baked goods, ice cream, chocolate, pop, candy, pretzels, chips, to name a few.

Marketing Skills: How to choose a better carb

Glycemic Index

A scale from 1 – 100 that ranks carb rich foods by how much they raise the blood glucose levels. Some are digested quickly and others more slowly. Ranking is based off the “standard food” either white bread or pure glucose (100).

The lower the GI, the less it will raise our blood glucose levels. We should aim to choose more low GI carbohydrate foods.

Nutrition Facts Panel

Look at the serving size of the nutrition facts panel – is that the portion which you will be eating? Then check the total carb per serving and note the fibre content. Subtract the fibre from total carb (ie 25 grams total carb, 3 grams fibre = net 22 grams) to get the total carb available to be absorbed.


How much carb should I be getting per day?

For larger appetites aim for 45 – 60 grams per meal and 30 - 45 grams per snack. For smaller appetites aim for 30 – 35 grams per meal and 15 – 30 grams per snack.

It is recommended not to drop below 120 grams of carbohydrate per day.

Aim for 6 - 8 ½ cup servings of grains and starches per day and 2 – 3 fist sized, or ½ cup servings of fruit per day depending on your age and gender.

For more information about carbohydrates contact us.

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