How many carbohydrates to eat? Carbohydrates are a bit of our cross and delight: on the one hand, in fact, we certainly cannot deprive ourselves of them, or at least not for a long time. Carbohydrates are the basis of our food pyramid, be it cereals, fruit or vegetables, legumes or potatoes. On the other hand, eating too many, especially if we lead a sedentary lifestyle, exposes us to a greater risk of obesity:in fact, the carbohydrates that are not used are “put aside” as storage fat, and this happens more easily in women than in men, because women have less muscle mass, therefore muscles require less glycogen (glycogen is the sugar used at an energy level), and also the liver cannot go beyond a certain threshold of glycogen stores that will be used during the day to give energy to our body. The sugars that are not used are “stored” in adipose tissue according to a mechanism known as lipogenesis .
The problem is that the food supply today focuses on carbohydrates, on foods rich in sugars: natural Greek yogurt is an excellent snack, but at the supermarket the shelves are full of snacks, biscuits, snacks and drinks, not natural yogurt. The risk therefore is always to eat more carbohydrates than we need , often at the expense of proteins and good fat resources. This way we eat more and also eat more sugar. And the more sugars we eat, the more we are dependent on it, this partly due to an immune mechanism of our body, biologically set in a primitive way . What is not used is set aside to ensure survival in times of famine ( survive fasting ).
If we are addicted to carbohydrates, in short, and we tend to gain weight, it is also for immune reasons.
But how many carbohydrates to eat then?
First of all, it depends on whether we are sedentary, active (we spend a lot of time on the move) or sporty. The athlete has a greater need for carbohydrates, precisely because he has greater muscle mass, and muscles are the part of our body that burns the most glycogen. Also for this reason it is important to train.
Of course, it’s not that overnight we can all become athletes or even agonists. So based on our age and activity level, we need to figure out how many carbohydrates to eat. A simple and affordable answer is given by Professor Pier Luigi Rossi , dietician and creator of the molecular method.
The professor explains that the ideal dose is two grams of carbohydrates per day per kilo of body weight according to your target weight, intended as total carbohydrates (therefore including fiber).
So the first thing is to evaluate our ideal weight, and adjust the carbohydrates accordingly in the diet according to these examples:
bread: contains about 50 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams.
pasta : contains about 78 gr of carbohydrates for about 100 gr. Rice about 80.
Whole grains and legumes: it counts as bread
fruit: about 10-13 gr (on average) every 100 gr.
potatoes: about 18 grams of carbohydrates per 100 gr.
We can also leave out the carbohydrates of most vegetables, but we must remember that sugar contains almost 100% of carbohydrates per 100 gr. So a spoonful of sugar is 10 grams of carbohydrates, and we must consider that juices, sweet and unnatural yogurts, snacks, also contain very high doses of sugar.
This scheme can be useful for people who have a moderately active lifestyle , while athletes should consult an experienced and “qualified” sports nutritionist or coach to set their diet ( source ).