Nutrition Q&A

Q&A: How Many Carbs Should We Take in Each Day?

A fantastic question from Natacha Paquette and Raymond Lavictoire: how many grams of carbs should we take in per day?

The short answer is that most people should take in between 50-200g a day. Here’s why:

Carbs produce insulin and insulin is the hormone responsible for accumulating fat in the fat cell.

We all know someone that can eat whatever they want and not gain any weight – while others may sit there watching their intake of salad dressing and still gain fat.

The amount of carbohydrates your body can handle is dependent on your level of insulin resistance. It’s different for everyone.

Insulin resistance is like a telemarketer calling you during dinner. You answer a few times but after a while you decide not to answer anymore. That’s what the muscle cells do – they stop communicating. As you age communication tends to decrease making it harder to lose fat.

The lack of cell response leads to a constant cycle of high blood sugar which then leads to type II diabetes.

This is due to years of consuming more carbohydrates than your body can handle. How many carbs your body can handle is mostly dependent on your genetics.

Take for example a lady I helped that had an Inuit background. Her ancestors ate almost exclusively fats and proteins until recent years. At 75g a day her weight still wouldn’t budge. Until we reduced it to 50g a day did she start losing fat. Genetically she just can’t handle very much.

A good way to find out where you stand in the range above is to experiment with your weight. Start with 100g a day. See if you start to lose weight, maintain or gain weight. Then adjust accordingly to your goal. Be sure to eat the same foods and keep your protein, fat and activity level consistent.

If you don’t want to go through the trouble, just take the ranges I gave above and estimate where you think you are. Make a mental note everyday on how many carbs you are consuming. To give you a better idea of the amount of carbs there are in certain foods, here is a helpful graphic:

foods-with-carbs



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