Macronutrient Guide: Growing Carbohydrates

Carbs: The Energy That Grows On Trees

Most of us know what foods fall under the carbohydrate umbrella because we’ve been told to avoid them! I’m here to help you rediscover carbs and welcome them back into your life. We’ll start by categorizing your carbohydrate sources with a fun, little descriptive classifier: carbohydrates grow. This macronutrient includes grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes and sugars. Yes, sugar is considered a macronutrient because it comes from a growing plant called sugar cane! The foods listed below are just a few examples of where these macronutrients can be found and why they fall into our classifier of carbohydrates grow:

  • Strawberries: grow
  • Pop tarts: The main ingredients are wheat and sugar, and both of these grow.
  • Potatoes: grow
  • Corn: grows
  • Cereal: The main ingredients are wheat or rice, and both of these grow.
  • Beans: grow

Tricky Dairy

Now let’s touch on the tricky dairy subject again, as most milk and yogurt products fall into the carbohydrate macronutrient category. Confused? “Don’t these products come from animals with faces?” you might be asking. Yes, but the main component of most milks and yogurts is lactose (aka milk sugar). For this reason, these creamy milk products are classified as carbohydrates. If you want to know if your favorite milk or yogurt is more of a carbohydrate or more of a protein, just check the label. The macronutrient with the highest value determines its place in our basic categorization system. 

As Americans, the carbohydrate category encompasses the bulk of our diets. Whether you shop mostly for fresh fruits and veggies or tend to veer towards the sugary cereal aisle, carbohydrates reign supremeTheir sugary reign is for good reason, too. Carbohydrates are the preferred energy source for our brains and bodies. Carbs are responsible for providing fuel for working muscles and the central nervous system. They enable fat metabolism and prevent the body from choosing muscle for energy. 

Low-Carb Dieting

We’ve all experienced a day of low-carb dieting. You lack energy, feel lethargic, and your mood is less than ideal. These symptoms are a result of your body using other sources to energize and fuel you. Forget for a second about good carbs and bad carbs and just challenge yourself to explore all carbohydrates. Which ones do you like, which ones give you the most long-lasting energy, and which ones are easy on your tummy? Try a variety and take notes on what you discover.

See the plate method illustration for a good illustration of the balance of carbs, protein and fats in a healthy diet.

Click here to read pt. II of this series, “Macronutrient Guide: ‘Face’ing the Facts of Protein” or go ahead and check out pt. III, “Macronutrient Guide:  Eat Fat to Burn Fat

You can also reach Kori at for additional details and a complimentary consultation.

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  1. bath&body works sale | 17th Mar 17

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