What is the High Carb Diet?
According to the Mayo Clinic, based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people who follow a 2,000-calorie diet should consume between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates each day. That makes up between 45 and 65 percent of calories. The Food and Drug Administration lists the daily value (DV) for carbohydrates as 300 grams per day. If you're consuming the standard 2,000 calories a day, you would also consume 50 grams of protein and 65 grams of fat. This means that the FDA recommends consuming a diet made up of 60 percent carbohydrates, 10 percent protein and 30 percent fat. As the name implies, a high-carb diet incorporates a larger proportion of carbohydrates into your daily diet. This amount can vary substantially but starts at around 64 to 65 percent. High-carb diets can be healthy or unhealthy based on your calorie intake and how your macronutrient consumption is distributed. Healthy high-carb diets typically raise carbohydrate intake but lower protein and fat intake and reduce overall calorie consumption. Healthy high-carb diets, like the Okinawan diet, have been known to increase carbohydrate consumption to as much as 85 percent while reducing consumption of other macronutrients.
How Does the High Carb Diet Work?
Unhealthy high-carbohydrate diets increase carbohydrate content and may also increase fat intake. They may or may not decrease protein intake. Since carbohydrates and fat are already the biggest components of a standard diet, to increase the amount of these macronutrients, you'd also likely increase overall calorie consumption. Unhealthy high-carbohydrate diet risks vary because they tend to involve the consumption of refined or processed carbohydrates. Foods made with refined and processed carbohydrates are typically made with more fat. More often than not, the fats in these foods are unhealthy saturated and trans fats, which are associated with different health issues. Healthy high-carb diets can have carbohydrate content that ranges from around 64 percent of your daily diet to 85 percent of your diet. These diets have been shown to promote weight loss, reverse liver disease and reduce health problems when consumed long term. They typically focus on the consumption of low-fat, high-carb foods like complex carbohydrates and fiber-rich vegetables and fruits.