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Are You Eating Too Many Carbohydrates?

By Sara Butler

Carbohydrates are a nutrient that gets a lot of bad press. They're often viewed as the enemy of health, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Your body, specifically your brain, needs carbohydrates to function optimally. But just because your body needs them doesn't mean you can't go overboard with them -- and when you do, there are some signs to be on the lookout for. Here are a few things that may clue you in to the fact that you're going overboard with your carbohydrate intake.

How Many Carbs Is Right?

According to the nutritionists, carbohydrates should make up somewhere between 45 and 65 percent of your total calories per day. But, it's important to note that those should be slow-digesting carbohydrates from whole food sources such as:

  • Steel-cut oats
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Whole fruits
  • Whole vegetables

It's important to lay off the simple carbohydrates, such as white bread and processed snack foods.

You Feel Bloated

Feeling bloated may mean that you're eating far too many carbohydrates. That's because the sugar contained in carbs can do a number on the health of the bacteria that live in your gut. This makes the digestive system sluggish, leading to bloat.

Energy Crashes

Carbohydrates are great at providing you with energy, but that spike also has a downside -- the inevitable crash. The American Heart Association says that simple carbohydrates release glucose into your bloodstream, providing that burst of energy you feel. But the crash will leave you feeling far less energized than you were before you ate anything at all.

If you feel sluggish after eating, then it's a sure sign you've had too many carbohydrates, especially the simple kind that digest quickly.

Weight Gain

Another tell-tale sign you're eating too many carbohydrates is weight gain. Research has reported that those who eat a diet high in sugars have larger waists, which puts you at a higher risk for insulin resistance and eventually type 2 diabetes.

High Cholesterol

While most people associate high blood sugar with too many carbohydrates, it can also have an impact on your cholesterol levels -- increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Carbohydrates are turned by your body into sugar. Too much sugar in the diet can lead to chronic inflammation that damages your body's vessels and is bad for your heart. The more simple carbohydrates you eat, the more high-glycemic foods you eat, and the higher the body's insulin levels are, the higher your cholesterol levels will be. If you're looking to lower cholesterol, then a focus must be on carbohydrates too.

Your body needs carbs to function optimally. You simply must make sure they're the right type of carbs to fuel your body well.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Katy, Tex.

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