Carbohydrates are a macronutrient. In food labelling, carbohydrates are sugars, starches, and fiber. Carbohydrates, in food labeling, provide 4 Calories per gram, though the actual value varies between 3.57 and 4.12 for simple sugars and more structurally complex carbohydrates. 

Health considerations

Diabetics must be conscious of carbohydrate intake to regulate blood glucose and insulin levels. Carbohydrates are not technically essential nutrients as the body is able to convert fats and proteins to form glucose, the essential source of energy for the body. Very low-carbohydrate diets put the body into a state of ketosis. Lack of dietary fiber (carbohydrates with varying digestibility) is associated with poor health outcomes and increased mortality.

Keep in mind

Different health agencies recommend between 45% and 75% of the diet come from carbohydrates. In general “complex carbohydrates” such as whole grains and legumes as well as fruits and vegetables are recommended over refined, processed grains and sugars.

May be found in

Grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, sugar, sweeteners, dairy, in small amounts in meat and fish


The American of Clinical Nutrition
The American of Clinical Nutrition 2

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