Kristen Zaier, ​​Plant-Based RD

What are Carbohydrates?

  • Carbohydrates breakdown to glucose during digestion and are the body's primary fuel source

  • ​The majority of your daily calories should come from complex carbohydrates which include unrefined grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds

  • These types of carbohydrates provide energy, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals

  • Diets rich in complex carbohydrates have been associated with lower rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and GI disorders

Carbohydrates to Limit or Avoid

  • ​Carbohydrates that should be eaten in small amounts or avoided are refined carbohydrates such as white flour, white bread and added sugars such as table sugar, honey, agave syrup and high fructose corn syrup
  • Many people think that agave syrup, maple syrup or raw sugar is healthier than table sugar but they are all concentrated sugars that should be minimized in the diet
  • The World Health Organization is considering new guidelines on sugar intake that will suggest diets include no more than 5% of total calories from added sugar
  • 5% of total calories would be ~ 6-8 teaspoons of added sugar per day depending on your calorie needs


Please check out the following links related to carbohydrates:


References used for all of the nutrient pages can be found at the bottom of the Nutrition Facts page. Click here.