Q:

How many carbohydrates should you take per day?

A:

Quick Answer

The recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that carbohydrates must constitute 45 to 65 percent of the calories consumed in one day, according to the Mayo Clinic. Carbohydrates are the body's main source of sugar.

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Full Answer

If a person requires 2000 calories a day, carbohydrates should form 900 to 1300 of those calories. This amounts to consuming 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates every day. The starch and sugar present in carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars during the digestive process. This is absorbed into the blood stream as blood sugar or blood glucose. Blood glucose is what provides the body with energy for all its activities from breathing, to the most strenuous tasks such as intensive workouts.

Information about the carbohydrate content of packed foods is printed on the Nutrition Facts label. The carbohydrate content includes natural and added sugars, total fiber and soluble fiber and starches. Foods high in carbohydrates include brown and white rice, sweet and white potatoes, yams, oatmeal, whole grain foods, vegetables and fruits. To meet the daily carbohydrate requirement, fresh and whole fruits and vegetables are better than juices, dried fruits and refined flour. Pregnant women and people who have diabetes or are overweight usually require carbohydrates in quantities that differ from the normal standards.

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