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Popeye turned to spinach when he needed some. The meek little scientist who turned into the Incredible Hulk, all you had to do was make him angry.

As for non-cartoon heroes like you and I, we need to rely on something much simpler, much more basic to get our strength.


Carbohydrates are the primary sources for our energy, a macrocomponent that consists of fibers and sugars and translates into such foods as rice, pasta, bread, and cereal. Ideally, carbohydrates should consist of 40 percent of the daily calories we digest with 40 percent focusing on proteins and the remaining 20 percent coming from fats.

Many health hopefuls delve into their new diets with blinders on. They know not what they eat or when they’re to eat it. They assume that salad - and lots of it – is the key to losing weight.

Yet, if your body is not provided with sufficient doses of carbohydrates, your energy will be sapped and your impoverished body will reflect the results.

Here are a few sources that will fuel your body with the carbohydrates that it needs.

BAKED POTATOES: These babies are loaded with carbs. In fact, the average-sized potato is chalked with about 50 grams of carbohydrate, and - get this – they’re also fat-free. The key to adding potatoes to your diet is to consume them without any added spreads like sour cream or butter.

RICE: This is not just a treat from San Francisco. Rice is another excellent source of carbohydrate, also free of fat content, for dieters everywhere. Rice is easy to make - just boil it for ten minutes - and is rich in carbs, consisting of 45 grams per cup. You can mix your carbs with your protein sources by mixing rice with fish or chicken.

PASTA: Rigatoni, ziti, spaghetti, angel hair, it doesn’t really matter. Pasta in all forms is a great source for energy. Many power lifters or marathoners load up on pasta before a big event. While pasta is low in fat, some forms (lasagna, manicotti) are packed with fattening cheeses. Try to avoid applying butter to your pasta dishes while using lighter, healthier tomato sauces. Also, keep pasta consumption in moderation; try to substitute it regularly with other carbohydrate soucres.

OTHERS: Who spilled the beans? The truth is, beans are packed with carbohydrates and will provide your diet with the healthy energy kick it needs. Black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans are all proof of this, generally consisting of 40 grams of carbohydrate per cup. And this is no bananas, either. Monkey’s favorite fruit packs around 27 grams of carbohydrates for an average-sized banana, whereas your medium apple packs 21 grams of carbs.

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