Carbohydrates – Not a villain

Carbohydrates – Not a villain

Just like your car needs fuel to make it run, your body needs fuel to function. Of course, your body doesn’t run on fuel – it runs on carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, found in foods like grains, fruits, beans, milk products and vegetables, are by far your body’s favorite source of energy. About 45 to 60% of energy should come from carbohydrates in one’s diet. There is a misconception that carbohydrates make you fat. Hence eliminating carbohydrates or going on a carbohydrate free diet is a very common norm in weight loss industry.

Carbohydrates are broken into smaller units called sugars, these sugars get out of the digestive tract and get absorbed in the blood stream and are transported to the different tissues of the body. Sugars supply energy to the different tissues of the body and aid their functioning. In fact the brain uses this simple sugars as a source of energy too.

Another important function of carbohydrates is to prevent break down of protein for energy. If sufficient amounts of carbohydrates are not consumed in the diet , then the body uses its back up source of energy that is proteins , in that case protein are used for energy production and are no longer available to perform their bodily functions of muscle contractions and maintaining muscle.
Carbohydrates are also important in fat metabolism. If the body has enough energy for its immediate needs, it stores extra energy as fat.

When your diet is low on carbohydrates, then the fat metabolism cannot proceed normally and the result is formation of ketones. Ketones are acidic molecules which make the blood acidic and hinder in the normal bodily processes.

Without adequate carbohydrates….
• Muscle tissue breakdown will occur
• Fatigue
• Low brain power
• Ketosis
• Weight loss will occur, but that will mainly be water loss initially and later muscle breakdown.

Thus carbohydrates are very important for the normal functioning of the human body and also for weight loss. So it is well understood that carbohydrates should not be eliminates from the diet and in fact only when the right amounts of carbohydrates are consumed can fat and protein carry on their normal functions in the body.
So carbohydrate is certainly not the villain but the real hero…

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