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Why Your Body Needs Carbs

Posted on May 5, 2021 by Iliana Stoilova

The health effects of fat and carbs are controversial. However, almost everyone agrees that both are important. Carbohydrates are one of our body’s main energy sources and it’s no question that our body needs them in large quantities. But just how much does it need and why? Carbohydrates should make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories. So, if you get 2,000 calories a day, between 900 and 1,300 calories should be from carbohydrates. That translates to between 225 and 325 grams of carbohydrates a day.

The three macronutrients that affect your body are fats, carbs and protein. Studies show that carbohydrates are one of the most filling of these and has a large effect on your appetite. Despite their bad rap, carbohydrates are vital to your health for a number of reasons.

Providing energy

Carbohydrates are your body’s main fuel source. During digestion, sugars and starches are broken down into simple sugars. They’re then absorbed into your bloodstream, where they’re known as blood sugar (blood glucose).

From there, glucose enters your body’s cells with the help of insulin. Glucose is used by your body for energy, and fuels all of your activities — whether it’s going for a jog or simply breathing. Extra glucose is stored in your liver, muscles and other cells for later use, or is converted to fat.

Protecting against disease

Some evidence suggests that whole grains and dietary fiber from whole foods help reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Fiber may also protect against obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is also essential for optimal digestive health.

Controlling weight

Evidence shows that eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains can help you control your weight. Their bulk and fiber content aids weight control by helping you feel full on fewer calories. Contrary to what low-carb diets claim, very few studies show that a diet rich in healthy carbohydrates leads to weight gain or obesity.

In summary, an efficient-carb diet improves the function of weight-regulating hormones, reduces hunger levels and helps you eat fewer calories overall. To lose fat fewer calories must be consumed than are expanded. It’s true that some individuals following a low carbohydrate diet tend to lose weight more quickly than those on a calorie restricted diet. This can be explained by a greater initial loss of body fluids, and the tendency of people on low-carbohydrate diets to eat less.

“The belief that there is some metabolic advantage for fat loss on a low-carbohydrate diet remains unproven. What is known is that the initial weight loss advantage of a low carbohydrate diet wanes as time progresses. Low-carbohydrate diets are not sustainable in the long term. An eating plan containing 50 to 60 percent of calories from carbohydrates can be used to achieve a person’s desired weight and be modified by adding or subtracting calories as needed.” ~ Dr Ken Spalding, X-Force Body program participant

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