Are You Eating Too Many Carbs?

Do you know how many carbs you're eating?

Lara Rondinelli By Lara Rondinelli, RD, LDN, CDE

You've probably heard it all -- eat good carbs, eat low-carb, eat whole-grain carbs, eat low glycemic index, eat healthy carbs. But are you just eating too many carbs? Do you even know how many carbs you're eating? The typical American diet is loaded with carbs; starting with breakfast full of bagels, muffins, and scones, lunches packed with sandwiches, chips, and cookies, and dinners loaded with large portion sizes of pasta, rice, and potatoes. Not to mention the overwhelming amount of carb-loaded snack foods such as crackers, fruit snacks, granola bars, and ice cream treats.

How many carbsHow Many Carbs Are You Eating?
First, if you are overweight or obese, you need to evaluate your diet and figure out what foods you are overeating. If you see that your diet is made up of lots of bread, crackers, potatoes, pasta, sweets, and chips, you can figure you are eating too many carbs. If you are not obese, but are having trouble controlling glucose levels, check out the section below on postprandial blood-sugar testing.

A registered dietitian can always help you determine if you are overeating carbs, but using the plate method can be a simple way to estimate how many carbs you are eating. For example, no more than one-quarter of your plate should be made up of a healthy, starchy carb such as sweet potatoes or quinoa. Most Americans are filling plates with amounts greater than 50 percent. Check it out here: The Plate Method.

Another way to determine if you are eating too many carbs is to read food labels. Many meal plans recommend a maximum of 45 grams of carbs per meal and no more than 15g per snack or dessert. By reading labels, you can figure out how many carbs you are eating compared to this general recommendation.

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Last Modified Date: June 20, 2013

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