Q:

How many carbohydrates should a person eat per day?

A:

Quick Answer

A person's daily carbohydrate intake should equal anywhere from 45 to 65 percent of the person's total daily calorie intake, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This means that for a daily limit of 2,000 calories, carbs should only account for 900 to 1,300 calories.

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Full Answer

Carbohydrates are not all bad. In fact, a healthy body requires carbs to work the way it's supposed to. There are a number of benefits to carbohydrates, including the following:

  • Carbs help protect the body against cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Whole grains and dietary fiber also contribute to digestive health.
  • Eating fresh fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains help control a person's weight. Due to the bulk and high fiber content, a person eating these foods feels fuller despite eating fewer calories.
  • Carbohydrates give the body a boost of natural energy. The sugars and starches in carbs are broken down by the body into natural sugars. As those sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream, the body gets a natural boost of energy.

There are a number of dietary options when it comes to choosing healthy carbohydrates. Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products, and beans or legumes are all good choices when adding healthy carbs to a person's diet.

Learn more about Nutritional Amounts & Limits

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