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Understanding carbs

Understanding Carbs

Find your balance.

You’ve heard it all. From carb-free to low-carb, to whole and empty carbs, it’s hard to know what it all means.

Get smart on carbs.

The main purpose of carbs in the diet is to provide energy as your body’s main fuel source. The carbs plus the amount of insulin you have in your body determine your blood sugar levels and have a big impact on how you feel. 

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply balance your blood sugar, carbs play a big role. Refined carbs are things like white bread and sugar-sweetened drinks that tend to cause spikes in blood sugar. You’ve probably heard these called empty carbs, or even ‘empty calories.’


Know the three types

There are three main types of carbohydrates in food: Starches, sugars, and fiber. Starches—or complex carbohydrates—include starchy vegetables, dried beans, and grains. Sugars include those naturally occurring (like in fruit) and added (like in a cookie). And fiber comes from plant foods vs. animal products like eggs, meat, or fish.

Counting carbs

Chances are you’ve seen the “total carbohydrate” info on a label. This is the number you need for counting carbs. And for foods without a label, like fruits and vegetables, you can estimate the carbohydrate with the help of online tools. Trust us, you’ll be an expert in no time.

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