Carbohydrates: Why You Shouldn't be Afraid of Them

Carbohydrates: Why You Shouldn't be Afraid of Them

A major fitness fad that has been trending for nearly two decades is that of cutting carbohydrates from your diet. Numerous fitness programs portray carbohydrates in a negative light and set up systems to curb the intake of these nutrients. Subscribing to the idea that carbs are unhealthy is dangerously ignorant, and could hurt your body in the long run. Here are a few reasons why you should never be afraid of carbohydrates.

Energy

Carbohydrates are a useful source of energy to the body. While we get a good amount of energy from fat and protein, a recommendation by the World Health Organization suggests that we can receive up to seventy-five percent of our energy from carbs. Failing to incorporate carbs into your diet can result in many adverse side effects, as detailed in this study by Plaskett Nutritional Medical College. Carbs are also the superior option for short term energy, as they metabolize much more quickly and efficiently than energy from lipids or proteins. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts may, therefore, find carbs necessary to their lifestyle.

Fiber

Fiber is classified as a carbohydrate and has a part in several important bodily processes. First, soluble fiber can reduce the risk of heart disease. All fiber is useful in the curbing appetite and promoting a sense of fullness that can help with weight loss efforts. Fiber also regulates blood sugar, assists with bowel movements, and promotes a healthy digestive system. A study by Dr. Yikyang Park and others suggests that a lack of fiber in the diet could reduce your lifespan.

Metabolism

Carbs, particular glucose, are an important component of the metabolic process. ATP is the name for the temporary energy in our cells that forms from the bonding of glucose and oxygen. Our cells use this energy for several processes including breathing, blood circulation, and cell repair. This same energy is also used during exercise, and when digesting food.

Separating Harmful from Helpful

Not all carbs are good carbs, however. While fiber, complex carbs, and simple sugars all have a role to play, processed carbs and sugars are a detriment in large quantities. Processed foods, in general, can create problems with obesity and heart disease. Carbs from those kinds of foods are better off avoided for more nutritionally beneficial carbs.Embrace the carbohydrate, and give your body the gift of energy.   

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