Fitspo Tips Nutrition

Why you Need Carbs (in Moderation)

Written by Gabby

Your body needs a substance called glucose to survive.  Glucose is converted from carbohydrates by the body for energy, with the exception of fiber.  For the brain and other body parts, you need glucose in order for them to properly function.  If the body does not get the needed glucose from carbohydrates, it will start to take away from muscle fibers and convert the nitrogen parts that make up a protein in order to produce glucose.  This will result in muscle loss.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) says that the smallest recommended amount of carbohydrates consumed in a day is 130 grams.  To give you an example of how much that is, a large apple has 20 grams.  Following low carb diets that restrict you to less than this will often result in muscle loss so that the body can survive.

Certain foods rich in carbohydrates also have many nutrients that are essential to the body.  Grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables have many vitamins and minerals and also contain fiber.  Dairy is also loaded with carbohydrates and contain essential calcium, zinc, vitamin D, and protein.  Depriving yourself of carbohydrates can also mean depriving yourself of these essential nutrients.

It is also known that foods rich in carbohydrates show a decreased risk for many diseases including kidney disease, osteoporosis, heart disease, high blood pressure and some types of cancer.  As a preventative measure as well as a sustainable measure, you should be sure to include enough carbohydrates into your diet every day.

One thing to note, carbohydrates coming from added sugar can increase weight gain.  Usually foods and drinks with added sugar contain little nutritional value.  It is best to stick with the whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and dairy.


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