Animation fom Giphy.com.
Animation fom Giphy.com.

Actually, no, butter is not a carb. But, if it was, I suggest that you eat it just the same. While cutting carbohydrates out of someone’s diet sounds so 2K13, people still continue to fear carbs. A clear example of this fear: when lunch table conversations stray towards pointing out all the pasta, bread, or rice on someone’s plate rather than some other, any other, more interesting topic. But, the truth is, carbs are good for you (unless you manage an intolerance, allergy, or have other specific medical conditions which affect your ability to consume them.) In fact, carbs are so swanky that I, and many other much more credible sources such as Livestrong, highly recommend that you do not avoid them at all costs.

Everyone’s body runs on glucose … It gets turned into ATP to power your cells, is stored in the liver and muscles after being turned into glycogen, and provides your body with fuel to burn so fat and protein don’t need to be broken down.

That’s right, carbo-loading is not just limited to the intense and highly committed athlete, you too can engage in this satisfying activity without needing to participate in a marathon afterwards. I am not say that eating a bunch of sugar will benefit your body. But, we’re all smart enough to know that a pile of sugary junk food is definitely not as healthy as eating a solid meal of pasta, and we don’t need to be told twice.

So, without further ado, here are some the magnificent things which one of my top four favorite macro molecules, the carbohydrate, does for all of our bodies.

The digestive tract. Fair use image from Flickr Creative Art Commons.
The digestive tract. Fair use image from Flickr Creative Art Commons.

First, here’s a quick review of what happens when carbs enter your body. Carbs consist of either sugar, starch, or fiber. When it enters your mouth, amylase, an enzyme which facilitates the digestion of starch into maltose in your saliva, begins doing just that. Then, that beautiful glob of former-food, also known as chyme, makes its way into your small intestine where pancreatic amylase breaks down the remaining carbs into glucose. Afterwards, all that good stuff is absorbed into your bloodstream through the lining of the intestines and sent off to help your organs to function properly.

Everyone’s body runs on carbohydrates – specifically glucose which is what carbs are converted into when they interact with the amylase. Glucose is really important. It gets turned into ATP to power your cells, is stored in the liver and muscles after being turned into glycogen, and provides your body with fuel to burn so fat and protein (a.k.a. your muscles) don’t need to be broken down.

According to Livestrong, “Serious complications can develop if you deprive your body of adequate carbohydrates for long periods of time. For example, your body might begin to break down muscle tissue to act as fuel. As the levels of ketones rise in your bloodstream, your blood can become more acidic, placing stress on your kidneys and other organs.” Other symptoms of carb deficiency include dizziness, nausea, and irritability.

Cutting out a whole food group, and consequently a whole set of macro molecules, is never a good idea in the majority of circumstances. Our bodies need carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and protein in order to stay healthy, mentally and physically.

So go forth and eat your macro molecules, all of them! 

Animation from Giphy.com.
Animation from Giphy.com.
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