How Many Carbs Should You Eat Per Day?

What I want to answer today is one of those common questions I get on Facebook and on my online page, and that is, how many carbohydrates should you eat per day? We know that there are a lot of different diets out there, some saying go completely carb free like the ketogenic diet, and some saying, hey, you need to be eating more carbs and low fat, and I want to answer that question here. Let me say this, it really depends on your health goals and how many carbs you should eat per day, and it really depends on your body type.

But for most people, let’s say you’re consuming 1600 calories or 2000 calories a day, is you want carbohydrates to typically be about 40% of your overall intake of calories. And again, that really depends on the person, and that’s for an active person. If you’re active, about 40% of your calories should come from carbs, another 30% protein, another 30% fat in general. Again, that does depend. For some people, you may consume a lot higher fat diet if your goal is to become a fat burner. For some people, they may need more protein as well, if you’re really trying to pack on some muscle.

In general, the amount of carbs you should consume per day is probably going to be in between 500 and 800 calories per day from carbohydrates, and that’s going to typically be about 150 to 200 grams of carbohydrates per day is what you should be eating. So, 200 is an upper amount, actually even as low as 120, may be ideal. So when you’re counting your carbohydrates, 120 to 200 for most people is ideal when it comes to burning fat and just overall general health. So let me remind you of this, carbohydrates are not evil.

There’re a lot of people out there today out there as saying carbs are bad. You know we’ve had things like the Atkins Diet and South Beach diet and Paleo Diet and ketogenic diet today where some of them have sort of painted carbohydrates in a bad light. Listen, you need carbohydrates for energy, it’s important for cellular function, but the truth is, most people are getting way too many carbohydrates in their diet per day. Let me give you something in perspective as well. You know, blueberries are an amazing super food. They have antioxidant, they have carbohydrates, they have fiber, they have vitamins and minerals, but if I take blueberries and I just extract the sugar out of it and you just have fructose, well that sugar by itself without the fiber, without the antioxidants, without the minerals, is now toxic to your body.

So sugar and carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap for that reason, because so many of the foods we have today, they’re isolated compounds that are not real foods. Again, fructose by itself, sugar, it’s not a real food. Its toxic to your system versus blueberries or sourdough bread or something else along those lines are real food. Even raw honey, those are foods. They have co-factors or nutrients with them that support absorbability and digestibility. It’s a similar thing with white rice versus brown rice. Well how many carbs should you consume per day? Well, it depends on the form you’re getting them in. Brown rice you can actually eat a little bit of a bigger serving because there is fiber there that’s going to slow the absorption of those carbohydrates turning into sugar, versus white rice will turn into sugar almost immediately. So, I think you see my point here. But in general, to answer your question, how many carbohydrates should you consume per day? For most people, in between 120 and 200 grams per day, and I would say the ideal amount for most people is about 150 grams total of carbohydrates per day.

But again, that really depends on your activity level, it depends on your body type and goals, but one of the best things you can do is take time and make a food diary. Write down for three to seven days what you’re eating on a daily basis. Then really start monitoring your overall fat, carbon and protein intake, and what you’re eating in terms of food, and then see how your body does. If your goal was weight loss, then really look at what you’re eating, weigh yourself, or test your body fat. Again, see where you’re at. I want to mention this is well; my overall philosophy isn’t just about quantity. It’s not about counting carbohydrates, it’s not about counting fat and protein, it’s not about quantity, it’s about the quality of the food you’re eating. I would actually challenge you rather than counting carbohydrates, instead count the quality of nutrients you’re eating. Get more grass fed animal products, get more fruits, get more vegetables, get more sprouted nuts and seeds like Chia seeds, consume more coconut products.

But just eat real food. I think you’ll see, if you just start eating real food in these five categories, wild caught meats, fruits, vegetables, sprouted nuts and seeds and beans, and then raw fermented dairy products like the yogurt and raw cheeses, things like kefir and yogurt. If you really stick to those five food groups, you are going to burn fat fast, your body is going to heal, and I think you’ll see that that’s a better strategy than overall counting carbohydrates.