Things You Should Remember When Choosing Carbs

Things You Should Remember When Choosing Carbs

Carbohydrates are a major source of energy. They make up 45-65% of the total daily calories. So, if you are eating 2,000 calories daily, from 900 to 1,300 of those calories should come from carbs. That’s about 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates a day.

But, not all carbohydrates are equal. All kinds of foods contain carbs. You can find complex carbs or simple carbs. 

Many people avoid eating carbs to try and lose weight. But, some carbs can be useful and healthy for weight loss and overall health. In this guide, you can learn more about choosing the right carbs and other factors that can affect your diet. 

How Do I Choose the Right Carbs?

When choosing the right carbs, it is important to recognize the different types of carbohydrates. Complex carbs have a higher nutrient content than simple carbs. They are also more filling, making them a practical option for weight control. 

Many experts suggest including more complex carbs in your diet as they can regulate blood glucose levels after meals. To keep the body on the right track, you would need to mitigate the intake of simple carbs as these foods tend to be more processed and have less dietary fiber.

Complex carbsSimple carbs
Take time to digestDigest quickly
Less processedMore processed
Have more dietary fiberHave less dietary fiber
Improve performanceReduce performance
High in B vitamins, antioxidants, and natural ironLow in B vitamins, antioxidants, and natural iron

So, how can you tell the difference? You can find complex carbs in very nutritious foods. For example, potatoes, chickpeas, wheat, and pasta. Whole grain foods are highly beneficial complex carbs that supply the body with vitamins E, and B, fiber, and healthful fats.

Now, not all simple carbs are bad. For example, simple carbs are naturally present in fruits, milk, and milk products. Simple carbs that are not healthy are those found in refined and processed sugars. Such as soft drinks, syrups, table sugar, and candy.  

What Happens When You Eat Less Carbs?

If the body runs out of carbs to use as fuel, it starts breaking down stored body fat to get energy. Suddenly dropping the intake of carbs can lead to short-term side effects such as muscle cramps, headache, and constipation. Severely limiting the carb intake causes ketosis. And ketosis can lead to side effects such as fatigue, headache, bad breath, and weakness. 

5 Factors to Remember When Choosing Carbs

Want to make smarter food choices? The following tips can help you find the best carbs that can benefit your overall health. Here are the most important things to remember when picking carbs.

  1. Quality Matters

If you are on the hunt for the healthiest sources of carbs out there, then opt for whole grains and starchy veggies. These foods are packed with healthy carbohydrates and can give you a hefty dose of energy. But, you shouldn’t be overeating them.

Even though healthy high-carb foods can be beneficial for the system when you eat too much every day, you can go over the recommended carb intake. That’s when you can experience weight gain. So, whenever you have to include healthier foods and minimize the carb intake, go for nuts, seeds, non-starchy veggies, soy milk, or tofu. 

Healthy foods rich in carbs:

  • Starchy veggies: carrots, peas, yams, sweet potatoes, etc.
  • Whole grains: brown rice, whole grain pasta or cereal, barley, etc.
  • Legumes: pinto beans, soybeans, black beans, etc.
  • Fruits: bananas, kiwi, citrus fruits, berries, etc.
  • Milk products: soy yogurt, plain yogurt, and low-fat milk.

Healthy foods low in carbs:

  • Seeds and nuts: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, etc.
  • Non-starchy veggies: cabbage, tomatoes, leafy greens, etc.
  • Tofu and soy milk

Simple carbs to avoid:

  • Refined flour products: white bread, pastries, pizza dough, sweet desserts, etc.
  • Processed snacks: sweet granola bars, crackers, or pretzels. 
  • Soft drinks: orange soda, grape soda, cola, etc.
  1. Swap the Store-Bought Juice With Fruits

Juicing whole fruits and veggies is good for the body. The liquid contains most of the minerals and vitamins that come with these foods. 

But, what people may not notice is regardless of how healthy that fruit can be, if the juice has a ton of sugar, it can hurt your overall health and weight. The more calories and sugar the fruit juice has the bigger the odds of weight gain and obesity. 

So, if you are a fan of store-bought juice, then replace it with fruits. Or, you can make your juice and limit the sugar intake.

  1. Go For Beans Instead of Potatoes

Potatoes are a staple food and are used in many different dishes. They are complex carbohydrates and a great source of fiber, vitamin C, B6, and potassium. 

When you eat them in moderation, they won’t make you fat. But, many people, especially adolescents consume too many potatoes. Potato overconsumption can lead to obesity.

To control the potato intake, it is best to opt for beans instead. Beans offer a nutritious source of carbs. Including iron, potassium, protein, and magnesium. They contain little or no total fat, cholesterol, sodium, and trans fat. 

  1. Try Adding Whole Grains to Salad

Whole wheat bread is not the only source of whole grains. When you want to cut back on eating bread, you can add whole grains to salads, such as quinoa or brown rice. This way you reduce the sodium intake and still get a filling meal.

  1. Make More Soups
Soups are an excellent way of staying full and hydrated. They can boost your immune system and supply the body with the necessary minerals, vitamins, and healthy carbs. 

When choosing carbs for soups, remember to use more carrots, sweet potatoes, or leeks. Other foods you can use in soups are cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, and mushrooms. These ingredients can leave your meal brimming with fiber and nutrients. 


Carbs are an important aspect of making healthier meal plans. Ideally, you should get your carbs from unprocessed or minimally processed products. Especially beans, veggies, whole grains, and fruits. They have a host of nutrients that are good for the body.