Over the course of time, carbohydrates are one of the most misunderstood macronutrients and more likely often than not — have a bad reputation.
Think about it. When you think of the word carbs you probably have a negative connotation with it — don’t you?
You think of foods that you want to avoid, like bread, cake, pasta, etc. All the foods you save for treats or for special occasions or celebrations.
While these foods are delicious, they are still considered “unhealthy”. In moderation, carbs are good, of course — but carb-heavy foods are what you should limit if you’re trying to manage your weight.
And you can limit them. (As delicious as they are.) The truth is, your body doesn’t actually need a ton of carbs to survive.
Let’s talk about what carbs are for and if your body can function properly without a large carb intake in your daily diet.
But it’s important to note that there’s a difference between surviving without carbs and thriving without carbs. Sure, we can survive. But does it do our body justice if we limit carb intake if we aren’t functioning optimally?
We eat food for energy. And enjoyment — because we really do have some tasty foods. But for the primary — food is meant to be fuel. We need food to stay energized and keep our organs working. Without food we wouldn’t be able to function internally.
As put by Nicola Jackson, a Registered Nutritionist – Our body needs carbs for energy. They’re broken down to glucose, which our body uses for energy through the cells. We need glucose to help our brain and muscle function. When we don’t have glucose, our body resorts to other resources in the body.
So, if glucose isn’t present from carbs, your body will find another source. That source can be proteins or fats. When fats are broken down into what we know as fatty acids (aka ketone bodies) we use that ketone where there is a lack of glucose in the body. This gives us the energy we need to function.
So, it’s true. We don’t necessarily need carbohydrates to gain energy from our foods — there are other sources. But not all organs can live without carbs. And prolonged Ketosis can have different long-term side effects.
When we cut out carbs, we are losing a large food group that provides us with specific nutrients and dietary fibers that we really can’t get from another source.
Those food groups include whole grains and vegetables — the fibers in these foods keep our gut bacteria healthy. When our gut is happy — we’re happy.
So while it’s true that you don’t absolutely need tons of carbs to survive — you absolutely need some carbs to thrive. It heals our gut, helps our organs function, and gives us the energy we need. But, if you wish to limit carbs in your diet, try slowly reducing the amount little-by-little and noticing how you feel..
Hopefully, this opened your eyes a little bit to carbs and what they do to our bodies, how they help us, but also how they are not necessary in excess, if you so wish.
If you’d like even more help from me when it comes to maintaining and stepping up your health and energy levels, CLICK HERE to learn more about Intermittent Fasting and The M.A.D.E. Diet.
For more information about what I do, or if you are interested in coaching, or joining my team, CLICK HERE.