Carbohydrates are one of essential nutrients that comprise a balanced diet. The amount that you require daily depends more on your caloric intake than your gender, although men typically require more calories and, therefore, more carbohydrates than women. Discuss your carb intake with your doctor before altering it. You should also discuss the best sources of this nutrient. By emphasizing “good” carbs over “bad,” you can improve your health along with your diet.
Daily Caloric Needs
Your daily caloric needs are dependent on multiple factors including your age, activity level and gender. In general, men who are younger and more active require more calories per day than women who are older and less active. To determine your caloric needs, multiply your goal weight or the weight you want to maintain by 12 to 15, depending on age and activity level. If are young and physically active, you would use the higher number in the range. For example, if you are a 25-year-old athletic man who wants to maintain a weight of 170 lbs., you would multiply your weight by 15; your daily caloric need would be 2,550.
Daily Carbohydrate Intake
Once you know your total caloric intake for the day, you can then determine your daily carbohydrate needs. Between 45 and 65 percent of your total calories should come from carbohydrates. If you require 2,550 calories in a day, then 1,148 to 1,658 of those calories should come from carbs. Because carbohydrates carry 4 calories to the gram, this translates to roughly 287 to 415 g of carbs per day. Your doctor or nutritionist can help you better determine the exact amount of carbs you need each day.
Good and Bad Sources
When eating a balanced diet, it is not enough for men to simply keep their carbohydrate intake within the recommended range. Rather, you should also focus on consuming healthier sources of carbohydrates while limiting unhealthier ones. For example, plant foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and whole grains contain a wide variety of nutrients that can help you maintain both your health and weight. However, desserts, refined and processed grain products, and beverages sweetened with sugar provide little to no nutrition. They also tend to contain a high amount of calories, and for these reasons, you should restrict your consumption of them.
Keep in mind that along with carbohydrates, you also need protein and fat in a healthy diet. Each of these nutrients plays a key role in your bodily functions and can help you stay nourished and energized. Additionally, eating complex, plant-based carbs increases your fiber intake, which can greatly benefit your cholesterol levels, as well as your blood pressure.