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Making Sense of Foods

Carbohydrates: How Many Carbs Do I Need?

Carbohydrates are the main source of calories in a healthy diet and are the primary fuel for the brain and muscles.

Typically, about three-fourths of your daily calories should come from carbohydrates. There is no need to calculate your carbohydrate intake (unless you are doing so as part of a diabetes-management tool called "carbohydrate counting").

What counts is making sure you aren't unduly avoiding carbohydrate-rich foods, as some fad diets have mistakenly recommended (find more information about low-carb diets here >>). It's also important to choose the best carbohydrate sources. That means two things: You want complex carbohydrates (that is, starches), rather than simple carbohydrates (i.e., sugars). And you want carbs that still have their fiber, like brown rice or brown bread, rather than white rice or white bread, from which the fiber has been stripped away.

Choosing Carbohydrates Wisely >>