Carbs: Your Friend or Enemy

“Carbohydrates are macronutrients, meaning they are one of the three main ways the body obtains energy, or calories,” said  Paige Smathers, a Utah-based registered dietitian. The American Diabetes Association notes that carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. They are called carbohydrates because, at the chemical level, they contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen

Carbohydrates are the food group our body derives energy from a very basic level. There is a minimum requirement that is needed by body and mind to be able to function in an effective manner. A human body will look for carbohydrates first for deriving the energy for routine bodily tasks such as cognitive functions, movement of a limb or the body etc. and if not found is most likely to look for other food groups to derive the energy and fuel the body.

Since all human beings are built different (height, weight and age) coupled with the fact that everyone has different activity levels during a day, the carbohydrate requirement may differ from one to another. A daily wage earner’s carbohydrate requirement might differ from someone who works for a multinational company hence a cookie cutter approach while designing a diet for someone is never likely to work. This is where a dietician or a nutritionist comes into the picture who identifies the needs and daily activities of an individual to come down to the nutritional requirements so that body is not forced to go into a starvation or energy saving mode.

Some people would cut off carbohydrates when approaching end of the day with the thought that carbs post sunset is what’s going to make them fat which is not quite the case. The correct approach should be to cut the carbs from your diet in a day when you have completed the allocated intake of the carbohydrates for the day in order to avoid the spill over of the carbohydrates within the body.

There are many diet fads coming up these days which entails lowering down the carbohydrate intake to be able to achieve a certain look as desired or the
need to look shredded or ripped all year round or drop-down body fat levels to extreme for a short span of time like photo shoots or bodybuilding competition. While some protocols may work for some individuals, a general guideline for most people would be to eat a healthy and balanced diet with the body’s energy requirements in mind which allows the human body to not bloat or feel sluggish during the day.
To summarize, carbohydrates are the friends who will help you get through in life, who will support you and cheer you on to achieve the goals you are after. Nutrition is simple yet complex and it all boils down to the quantity moderation, picking healthier choices and understanding the energy needs of one’s own body to lead a healthy life. Remember one particular food group is never the culprit.