Unfortunately, many people today aren’t aware of what their body needs on a daily basis to operate at its’ optimal level. Proper nutrition requires consuming the proper amount of daily calories, as well as making sure your body is provided the nutrients it needs to be healthy and active.
So many “fad” diets over the last few years have proclaimed that carbohydrates are evil and should be avoided at all costs. While this is simply not true, it has also created the false perception that all carbs are bad carbs.
In fact, your body requires carbohydrates as an essential building block for proper nutrition. With that being said, it’s important for us all to understand what types of carbs are healthy and which are to be avoided. In an effort to clear things up, here are a few important facts about carbohydrates and why your diet should include a healthy serving of complex carbs:
Carbs are the Best Form of Energy
Energy from food comes in three main forms: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Some of these sources of fuel are stored in your body for your muscles and organs to utilize as an immediate source of energy. Of these three fuel sources, carbs are the most essential, but also the least abundant, when it comes to your daily energy needs. Carbs are considered to be the most essential nutrient because they are the primary energy source for activity and, most importantly, carbs are burned more efficiently by your body than both protein and fat.
Important Functions of Carbs
The importance of carbohydrates is not to be underestimated. However, most of us do underestimate that importance because we are largely unaware of how carbohydrates function in the body. While there are many important functions of carbohydrates, you should certainly know that carbs are the most effective fuel source for a healthy brain and nervous system. In fact, your ability to concentrate can be largely compromised if your carbohydrate stores are too low.
You should also know that having adequate amounts of carbs in your body will help to spare vital protein stores that your body needs for the growth, maintenance, and repair of your muscles. Carbohydrates can also help your body burn additional amounts of fat more efficiently than protein. There are many foods that are high in complex carbs that are also high in dietary fiber for better digestion, which can be beneficial in preventing certain types of cancer from taking hold in your body.
Complex Carbs are Best
The body can intake both simple and complex carbs, but the latter is much healthier than the former. Complex carbohydrates generally come from natural sources, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Simple carbs, on the other hand, typically come from sugars, which are processed quickly and contain no significant nutrients.
Carbohydrates are essential for your body to maintain its’ energy levels. Without carbs, your body will be left to burns only protein and fat, which can actually be much less desirable for your overall health. When designing your diet, it’s important to remember, “Not ALL Carbs are BAD Carbs!”