Carbohydrates have a terrible reputation but forget what you’ve heard. For most people, 50% of the calories in your diet should come from carbohydrates.  Your body and brain require an energy source to function and carbohydrates provide glucose, a type of sugar, to help get you through your day with a little oomph.

When you skimp on carbohydrates or choose carbs that provide quick energy but lack staying power, your cravings will begin.  With carbohydrates, it is critical to consider quality and quantity. Choose whole grain, unrefined carbohydrates and watch portion sizes.   Whole foods – think fruits, vegetables and whole grains – will help you stay satisfied as they contain fiber and water to help fill you up.  More processed foods, like a muffin made with refined white flour or a glass of apple juice, will provide short energy.  Without the naturally occurring fiber to fill you up, it can be difficult to recognize when you’ve had enough and soon, you might be reaching for more.

Studies have shown that choosing carbohydrates high in fiber can help fight hunger cravings. Fiber helps the product to be absorbed more slowly and as a result, you won’t experience the rapid spike in blood sugar that can lead to the dreaded crash and fatigue associated with low blood sugar.


Starches – Bread, cereal, pasta, crackers, potatoes, beans, peas, lentils

Naturally Occurring Sugars – Fruits, Vegetables, Milk and dairy products

Added Sugars – White, brown and raw sugar; honey, molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup, agave

syrup, fructose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, malt syrup

Fiber –  a type of carbohydrate the body can’t digest, there’s two kinds – soluble and insoluble and BOTH are important!

Soluble Fiber – helps lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels

  • Oats, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, apples, blueberries

Insoluble Fiber – helps move food through your digestive system to prevent constipation

  • Whole grains, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes

To learn more about carbohydrates, read up on the 6 major food groups and use our Food Group Choices Chart for a complete list of the healthy foods you should incorporate everyday!