"How much carbohydrate should I eat?" is one of the most common questions I get. The problem is, I can't really honestly give a quick answer to that question. The truth is that there is no one amount of carbohydrate that works for everyone. This is the way I think of it:
There is a range of carbohydrate tolerance in people. Some people seemingly thrive on high-carb diets (I say "seemingly" because we just don't know what effects this may have in the long run). As we age, more and more of us become at least mildly insulin resistant, which is the beginning of the trek towards diabetes. Once this begins, our bodies simply don't process carbohydrate as easily, and we can gain weight and have other health problems such as abnormal blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides, and cholesterol, in addition to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
If you respond at all positively to limiting carbs, that is a pretty strong message! But how do you know how much is safe for you? One way is to experiment, and monitor your own weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar to see what effects different diets have on you. Cravings are another sign that you are eating too much carbohydrate. I have some tips in What Carb Level is Right For You? .
Photo © Karen Struthers
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