Carbohydrates

Function:

  • Biggest source of ready to use energy
  • Brains preferred source of energy
  • Maintains heart, liver, and nerve tissue function
  • Helps control blood sugar levels
  • Spares protein from being used for energy
  • Provides Vitamins and minerals

Recommended 50% of total daily intake : carbohydrates are our most needed nutrient because as soon as we eat them, we break them down and use them for energy. 

Sources:

  • Bread and bread products
  • Cereal, granola
  • Fruit
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Grains, pasta, rice

Common Myths:

  • Carbohydrates do cause weight gain. FALSE. Over eating any food can cause weight gain. No one food contributes to weight gain more than another food.
  • Sugar causes diabetes. FALSE. No one food causes diabetes. Over eating any food can lead to diabetes due to your body requiring the release of more insulin. Over time you body because resistant to your own insulin.
  • Sugar causes hyperactivity. FALSE. The only scientifically proven health concern that sugar causes is cavities.
  • Eating sugar is similar to your brain being on drugs. False. All food utilizes the dopamine pathway (the pleasure center), which is the same pathway that drugs, alcohol, and sex utilizes. The reason food is pleasurable is survival, we need the drive to eat so that we can continue living.
  • Simple carbohydrates are bad for you. FALSE. You should eat a variety of carbohydrates. This argument is based on absorption rate, which is only applicable when you are eating simple carbohydrates on their own. When do you ever eat a piece of bread with nothing on it? Simple carbohydrates, when combined with dietary fat and protein, act like complex carbohydrates.