It is much misunderstood but the simplest way to understand cabohydrates is that it is essentially sugar. Most foods, especially fruits, vegetables, pulses etc. have carbohydrates so its easy to get confused.
What are Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are sugars that are converted into energy in the human body by secreting insulin the “key.” Not all carbs are made equal and carbs can broadly be classified into two categories fast sugars and complex sugars. 1 gm of carbohydrate contains approximately 4 kilocalories of energy.
Fast sugars (bad for you) are found in white rice, flour and sugar
Complex sugars (good for you) are found in yogurt, brown rice and capsicum.
Why eat Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are one of the four major nutrients that every human being needs along with Fats, Proteins and Water. Your brain can only absorb carbohydrates and therefore any nutrition plan that advocates not eating any source of carbs can be extremely harmful. In general, if your diet does not contain at least 50 gms of carbs, you should be worried.
How much of Carbohydrates should you eat?
The eat to understanding carbs is not so much in how much you eat, but in the quality of the source of carbs. Typically, you should be eating healthy carbs or complex sugars sourced from yogurt, fruits, vegetables and avoid simple carbs sourced from potato, white rice, flour etc. The human body needs about 0.8 gms x your weight in pounds. So, if you are 150 pounds, you need 120 gms of carbohydrates.