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People, who are conscious about their diet and the amount of calories they consume in a day, should also be aware of the amount of carbohydrates that they should be consuming. Experts say that a healthy diet is one in which half of the calories are derived from carbs. Both excessive and insufficient intake of carbs is harmful for the body.

Carbs carry about 4 calories per gram, so the number that will be suitable for an individual depends majorly on a person's lifestyle habits and the amount of physical activity one is involved in. People who are regular with intense physical exercises require a greater amount of carb intake, whereas those who are relatively inactive have to exert a greater control on their intake.

The recommended carbohydrate intake per day to lose weight is between 20 to 70 grams. Going by the rate of 4 calories per gram, this roughly comes up to about 80 to 280 calories per day. For people who are not looking at losing excessive weight, 180 to 230 grams of carbs (or 720 to 920 calories) per day should be sufficient for them.

Some Healthy Sources

Now, there are different sources from where one can derive their recommended daily dosage. So, one needs to choose their sources wisely, and try to avoid food items that unnecessary add carbs. Choosing the best and healthiest sources is absolutely imperative, and this is one area that requires a lot of attention.

It is better to obtain carbs from fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts. People who regularly eat a lot of junk food get their dosage from other items, like sodas, candy bars, chocolates, and pastries. These should be avoided to a certain extent, as these are all items that contain 'empty calories'. This means that they add to the calorie count but are deprived of nutrients. On the other hand, healthy sources provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to the body.

The level of activity that one is involved in, during the course of the day, also determines what percentage of carbs will be beneficial. A person carrying out regular activities during the day can increase his/her consumption to about 65%, but for someone involved in intense physical training, the percentage should not exceed beyond 50%.

The following table aims at giving you a brief idea about how many carbohydrates are contained in the most common food items.

Food ItemCarbohydrates (in grams)
1 potato5
1 cup broccoli6
1 cup strawberries12
1 cup carrots12
1 slice of bread12.5
1 orange15
1 apple19
1 cup sweet corn31
1 cup of pasta43
1 snickers bar64

The daily carbohydrate intake for diabetic people should ideally be between 40% to 60% of their total calorie intake. Depending on the severity of their diabetes and the kind of diabetic diet they are on, the intake should be approximately 100 grams or so.

Consuming the right amount of carbs is vital for leading a healthy life. Visit a dietitian and get some advice on the best diet plans that you should follow.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.