Nutrition Guide: Carbs
“Macronutrients” is the technical term for the different classes of nutrients. There are three distinct classes of macronutrients which essentially group everything we eat and drink according to their composition and function.
Each nutrient (what many personal trainers refer to as a ‘macro’) has a certain role to play in your health and a specific quantity of energy it brings to your body in terms of calories.
The three macronutrients are carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
Often referred to as “carbs,” this nutrient is your first source of energy. Even sedentary people require carbs for simple physical functions. People who train for fitness — and athletes especially — require more than the average recommended daily allowance of carbs in order to perform cardio or resistance training effectively. One current weight loss fad is to cut all carbs from your diet. This can help you achieve such a desired effect, but it’s not always a healthy endeavour and may come with a lot of side effects like lethargy, weakness, emotional instability, and short-term memory lapses. You should never cut all carbs from your diet for more than a two-day period, and even in doing that, you should exercise caution.
Carbohydrates can be further broken down into fast carbs and slow carbs. Fast carbs digest quickly (sugar is an example) and can give you an energy spike, while slow carbs require a longer time to digest and supply a more steady stream of energy to you.
Common Examples of Carbohydrates:
Fast Carbs: Sugar, White Bread, Baked Potatoes, Sweets, Cereals, Biscuits, Cookies
Slow Carbs: Oats, Whole Grain Cereals, Brown Rice, Pasta, Lentils, Squash, Bananas
Calories per Gram: 4
Recommended Daily Allowance: 250 – 350 grams per day
Recommended Proportion of Daily Diet: 50 – 60%