It is recommended that carbohydrates comprise 40-75% of daily caloric intake.
|Goal||Daily Calorie Allowance||40%*||55%*||65%*||75%*|
|Weight Maintenance||2,170 Calories||232 Grams or 8.17 Oz or 0.510 Lb||318 Grams or 11.23 Oz or 0.702 Lb||376 Grams or 13.27 Oz or 0.829 Lb||434 Grams or or 15.31 Oz or 0.957 Lb|
|Lose 1 lb/Week||1,670 Calories||178 Grams or 6.29 Oz or 0.393 Lb||245 Grams or 8.64 Oz or 0.540 Lb||290 Grams or 10.21 Oz or 0.638 Lb||334 Grams or or 11.78 Oz or 0.737 Lb|
|Lose 2 lb/Week||1,170 Calories||125 Grams or 4.40 Oz or 0.275 Lb||172 Grams or 6.06 Oz or 0.378 Lb||203 Grams or 7.16 Oz or 0.447 Lb||234 Grams or or 8.26 Oz or 0.516 Lb|
|Gain 1 lb/Week||2,670 Calories||285 Grams or 10.05 Oz or 0.628 Lb||392 Grams or 13.82 Oz or 0.863 Lb||463 Grams or 16.33 Oz or 1.020 Lb||534 Grams or or 18.84 Oz or 1.177 Lb|
|Gain 2 lb/Week||3,170 Calories||338 Grams or 11.93 Oz or 0.746 Lb||465 Grams or 16.40 Oz or 1.025 Lb||550 Grams or 19.38 Oz or 1.212 Lb||634 Grams or or 22.37 Oz or 1.398 Lb|
*The Institute of Medicine recommends American and Canadian adults to get 40% to 65% of their dietary energy from carbohydrates. The Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization jointly recommend 55% to 75% of total energy from carbohydrates, but only 10% directly from sugars.
Types of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are one of three primary macronutrients that provide energy, along with fats and proteins. Carbohydrates are often classified as either simple (monosaccharides and disaccharides) or complex (polysaccharides or oligosaccharides), originally to create a distinction between sugars and other carbohydrates. However, there are many foods that contain multiple types of carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, which can make the classification of certain foods ambiguous. Although carbohydrates are not essential nutrients (nutrients required for normal physiological function that the body cannot synthesize), they are an efficient source of energy that can potentially reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and type 2 diabetes if consumed in controlled amounts.1
The three main types of carbohydrates are sugar, starch, and fiber:
- Sugars are the simplest form of carbohydrates and can be found naturally in fruits, dairy, and vegetables; they can also be found in processed form in candy, cookies, cakes, and many beverages.
- Starches are complex carbohydrates that can be found naturally in many types of beans, vegetables, and grains.
- Fibers are complex carbohydrates that can be found in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and many types of beans.
Generally, complex carbohydrates have greater nutritional benefit than simple carbohydrates. Added sugars have little nutritional value and are not necessary for survival. While the body does require some carbohydrates (which are broken down into sugar), it is not necessary to consume sugary foods to meet this need. Complex carbohydrates such as fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and others, also provide the carbohydrates necessary for the body to function, along with many other nutrients it can use. Complex carbs also digest more slowly, allowing a person to fell full for longer periods of time, which can help when trying to control weight. On the other hand, foods comprised of mainly simple carbohydrates such as soda, cookies, juice, and other baked goods, often have large amounts of sugars and fats, potentially leading to weight gain and diabetes since they tend to be easier to consume in excess.2
- Mayo Clinic. "Carbohydrates: how carbs fit into a healthy diet." Nutrition and healthy eating. Last modified Feb. 07, 2017. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/carbohydrates/art-20045705?pg=1.
- Healthline. 2015. "Simple Carbohydrates vs. Complex Carbohydrates." https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/simple-carbohydrates-complex-carbohydrates#7.