All foods are classified in 3 big macronutrient groups – carbohydrates, protein and fats. All of them are essential for proper body functioning.

Carbohydrates are one of the basic nutrient groups, these are sugars, starches and fiber and we can find them in fruits, grains, vegetables, milk products. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy and calories. National Institute of Health recommends having 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates of total calories for most people a day. 1g of carbohydrates = ~4 calories.

Fiber is essential for digestion. Fiber promotes healthy bowel movements, help to control cholesterol levels. The best sources of fiber are fruits, full grains and vegetables, especially legumes.

Sugars and starches in the body are converted into energy for basic body functioning and physical activity. If the energy is not immediately needed for the body functioning, the body stores it up as fat. Avoid consuming “empty calories” – products high in sugar and with no other nutritional values.

“Good” and “bad” carbs

“Bad” carbohydrates usually are considered simple ones (monosaccharides and disaccharides). They provide a rapid source of energy, but the consumer feels hungry soon again. They are coming from pastry products, sweets, sodas, highly processed foods, white rice, white-flour products. These carbs have no other or poor nutritional value. They will provide you “empty” calories to burn with no additional value.

“Good” carbohydrates are considered the complex ones (polysaccharides). They are processed in the body much slower, will fill you up for longer, and they are considered more healthful. Complex carbs are coming from sources like fruits, vegetables, pulses, wholegrain products, and they are also a natural source of so essential for the body vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Smartly consumed carbohydrates are essential for health. As a bariatric patient you should aim to consume ‘good’ carbohydrates (vegetables, salad, greens, fruit) 1/2 or at least 1/3 your plate at each meal.

Not getting enough carbs can cause problems. A deficiency of glucose, or low blood sugar, is called hypoglycemia.

A balanced diet is the key to healthy living.