Carbohydrates are important

Tori LaPerriere

What do they do?

Carbohydrates provide your body with its primary source of energy, although it can also produce energy from fat if you are on a low-carb diet. Making energy is not the only thing your body does with the carbohydrate nutrients in your diet. Carbohydrates also protect your muscles. When you need energy, your body looks for glucose from carbohydrates first. They also regulate the amount of sugar circulating in your blood so that all your cells get the energy they need, they provide nutrients for the friendly bacteria in your intestinal tract that help digest food, assist in your body’s absorption of calcium, and they May help lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood pressure (these effects are special benefits of dietary fibre).

Why are they important?

Carbohydrates are key for maximum energy, speed, stamina, concentration, recovery and better fluid balance. They are vital for athletes and active individuals because they are the primary fuel for your body. Think of carbohydrates as the gas needed to fuel a car. Without gas, a car won't run. Likewise, without carbohydrates, your body will not have the fuel it requires to support your daily mental and physical activities.

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How much do I need?

100-150 Grams Per Day. This is more of a “moderate” carbohydrate intake. It is very appropriate for people who are lean, active and simply trying to stay healthy and maintain their weight. It is very possible to lose weight at this (and any) carb intake, but it may require you to count calories and/or control portions.

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What percent of calories should come from carbohydrates?

Between 45 and 65 percent of your total calories should come from carbohydrates, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Your ideal carbohydrate intake depends on your activity level and health status. For example, training for a marathon requires you to consume a higher percentage of carbohydrates. If you have diabetes, your healthcare provider may suggest sticking to the lower end of the range.

Foods with a high amount of carbohydrates

Oatmeal, yams, brown rice, sweet potatoes, multi grain hot cereal, white potatoes with skin, 100% whole wheat bread, 100% whole wheat pasta, beans, and cream of rice hot cereal.

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Fun facts!

Fact #1// Carbs are found in almost all living things. Carbs play a critical role in the proper functioning of our immune systems and other processes. So it just makes sense that a not enough carbohydrates could lead to impaired functioning of all these systems. Do keep in mind though that overdosing in carbs, especially if they are refined as in sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup can lead to obesity, diabetes and worse, cancer.

Fact#2// Humans can survive without consuming any carbohydrates at all. We can obtain all our energy from protein and fats. Any sugars required for brain function, can be synthesized from fats and ketones. Medium-chain fatty acids, such as coconut oil, are absorbed as easily as sugar, and can replace sugar in all metabolic processes. But you should not try this. This is just a fun fact. DO take in lots of carbs to stay healthy.

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