How many carbohydrates should I eat each day, are low carb diets safe and what foods are high in bad carbs?

THERE’S hundreds of diets out there all promising to help women lose weight and keep the pounds off.

From low-fat to high-fat, 5:2 to Atkins, it can be hard knowing what diet plan is right for you.

 Cutting out carbs completely isn't healthy

Cutting out carbs completely isn’t healthy

How many carbohydrates should I eat each day?

Along with fats, carbs are often billed as the enemy when trying to lose weight.

But the NHS still recommends a balanced diet, even when trying to lose weight, and they stress the importance of continuing to eat carbs.

The Government’s healthy eating advice says just over a third of your diet should be made up of carbs, such as pasta, bread, rice or potatoes.

A carbohydrate is one of three macronutrients and forms a large part of our diet, the others being fat and protein.

 Eating too much of any food group will lead to weight gain

Eating too much of any food group will lead to weight gain

Carbohydrates are important for our health and you shouldn’t cut them out of your diet completely.

They help boost energy levels, as they are the body’s main source of energy.

And they help prevent against diseases, as vegetables such as pulses and varieties of starchy food, such as potatoes, maintain good gut and bowel health.

The NHS recommends people aim for an average of 30g per day, but most only eat around 18g.

Carbs can also help you lose weight, as they contain fewer calories gram for gram than fat, and by replacing foods high in fat and sugar with fibre-rich food, the overall number of calories you eat will reduce.

 More than a third of our diets should be carbs

More than a third of our diets should be carbs

Daily reference intakes for the average adult aged 19 to 64 are:

  • Energy: 8400kJ/2000kcal
  • Total fat: less than 70g
  • Saturates: less than 20g
  • Carbohydrate: at least 260g
  • Total sugars: 90g
  • Protein: 50g
  • Salt: less than 6g

Are low carb diets safe?

Carbohydrates themselves are not necessarily the cause of weight gain.

The NHS says there’s no evidence that eating bread and other wheat-based foods causes weight gain more than any other type of food.

If you eat more energy than your body uses, you will put on weight, regardless of what you eat.



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