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Carbohydrates provide the body with the fuel it needs for physical activity and for proper organ function.

Different compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are called “carbohydrates.”

There are two main categories:

Simple Carbohydrates:

  • Fructose (fruit sugar)
  • Dextrose or glucose
  • Sucrose (table sugar)

Complex Carbohydrates:

Include everything made of three or more linked sugars (starch and fiber).

Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, breads, cereals, grains, milk and milk products, foods containing added sugars (cakes, cookies, sugar-sweetened beverages).

Healthy Tips:

  • Follow a meal plan that gives you 45% to 65% of the calories as carbohydrates (1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 calories)
  • Start the day with whole grains
  • Use whole grain breads for lunch or snacks
  • Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened sodas
  • Have a piece of fruit for dessert and skip desserts with added sugar
  • Choose 4 oz of 100% fruit juice rather than a fruit drink
  • Make at least ½ of your grains whole grains

**Your daily diet should contain a balance of carbohydrate and protein. Remember – when choosing carbohydrates, choose quality!!**