Any amount of food that you eat above the amount of calories you burn will be stored as fat. Carbohydrates are the least likely of the three food types to become fat. The reason is that when too much carbohydrate is expended, it can actually excite your metabolism before it is converted to fat. Excess fat can do the opposite, making more of the excess calories available for fat storage. Our society's waistline has stretched simply because we eat about 250 more calories per day than we did a decade ago and we move less because of technology and lifestyle.
Carbohydrate facts:• One gram of carbohydrate yields four calories
• Carbohydrates are the perfect preferred form of energy
• Help maintain proper cellular fluid balance
• Maintain satiety by keeping glycogen stores full and adding bulk to the diet
• Spares protein for muscle building
• Primary sources are fruits, vegetables and grains
Remember: extra calories make you fat.
Carbohydrates provide the bulk of calories in the diet for most of the world's population. They represent the major energy source for the average American as well. Daily intake should be at least 50 percent of total caloric intake, and 50-70 percent is often mentioned. This large amount is suggested because carbohydrates are relatively easy for the body to break down so they provide a readily available source of energy.
All carbohydrates are composed of simple sugars. "Simple" carbohydrates are no bigger than one or two units of sugar. The single sugars, such as glucose, are called monosaccharide. Double sugars, like sucrose, are called disaccharides. Mono- and disaccharides are building blocks for starches and fibers, which are larger carbohydrates, called "complex" carbohydrates. Fibers are complex carbohydrates that are largely indigestible. They are beneficial in that various types of fibers have been shown to decrease cholesterol, slow sugar absorption and change the rate of digestion. Most diets should include 25-30 grams of fiber daily.