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You may need more or fewer carbs depending on how active you are.
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Sometimes carbs get a bad rap, but they are essential for good health. Some carbohydrates are better for you than others, though. The biggest percentage of your calories should come from carbohydrates. The daily value for carbohydrates, which is based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, is 300 grams.
Reading Nutrition Labels
The daily value, or DV, found on the nutrition label is listed as a percentage and tells you about the distribution of nutrients in a particular food based on a 2,000-calorie diet. It is helpful to use daily values when comparing foods to find the healthiest option. The daily value for carbohydrates is 300 grams for adults, which calculates to 60 percent of your calories coming from carbohydrates.
Why You Need So Many Carbs
Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy. Your body breaks them down into glucose to use as fuel. Another reason you need to eat a higher percentage of carbohydrates than other macronutrients is because your brain is a carbohydrate-dependent organ. It cannot use fat or protein as fuel to function.
Healthiest Types of Carbs
Healthy carbs can be found in various foods such as fruits, milk, vegetables and whole grains. Carbs can be broken down into two categories, complex and simple. Complex carbs can help protect you against certain diseases. You can find complex carbs in whole-grain foods, beans, oatmeal, nuts and seeds, brown rice, popcorn and most vegetables. Simple carbohydrates include sugars that can be found naturally in food or added. When sugar has been added to food, it typically has fewer healthy nutrients.
Carbs also can protect you from diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity. Yep, that's right, consuming healthy carbohydrates can actually help you control your weight. Look for total carbohydrates and dietary fiber on the nutrition label to find what daily value percentage is found in the food you eat. Choose wisely by shopping for whole grains, beans and low-fat dairy products. Limit carbs that have added sugars.