Carbohydrates! Carbohydrates! Paleo dieters, enemy or friend? To eat or not eat? And if you do eat, how much? Explore some necessary Facts About Carbohydrates here and share them with your friends!
Many questions surround the topic of carbohydrates. Many popular diets focus on eliminating carbs. It’s easy for people to see them as a dangerous and undesirable addition to their food.
Although I cannot answer all of these questions, I am a student in dietetics and have learned a lot about one of three macronutrients essential for human life. The other two are protein and fat. While I don’t recommend that you go carb-loading yourself to death, they are essential for your continued existence.
See? So even the Aliens guy said it.
Facts About Carbohydrates
No matter how you include carbohydrates in your diet, they can greatly support many of the body’s functions. Here are some surprising facts I learned about carbohydrates (and why they are so important):
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- The brain is the only carbohydrate-dependent organ in the body. To function, the brain only uses glucose, a simple sugar carbohydrate. Your brain cells require twice as much energy as any other cells in your body. Give the man some glucose!
- Carbohydrates can be found in animal products. Surprise! Surprise!
- The name carbohydrate tells you what it is. It has a carbon backbone, with hydrogen and oxygen molecules attached. “Carbo” is carbon, and “hydrate” water-H20 (hydrogen or oxygen).
- Low-carbohydrate diets are not a good choice for active people. Hard exercise can cause low energy, muscle fatigue, mental fog, and a reduced supply of carbohydrates.
- Fiber is a carbohydrate-technically. Fiber is not digestible by the body, but it can be passed through. It is technically a complex carbohydrate because it typically contains long chains of sugars. It doesn’t provide energy, but it is still a carb, just like other carbs. Who knew?
- A low-carb diet will cause dramatic weight loss. This is often due to water weight. If your diet doesn’t provide enough carbohydrates, your body will need to draw on its reserves. This means that it will release the glycogen bound with lots of water. Your body will burn through glycogen and release water. This could mean that a low-carb diet might not be as successful.
- The final word is that carbohydrates are essential for your body’s energy needs. They are stored in reserves to be available when you need them. They are essential for life and health and contain fewer calories than other macronutrients. Healthy sources of carbohydrates should be encouraged, not discouraged.
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