There’s a lot of confusion for the general population when it comes to what they should vs should not be eating.

How often have you been in a conversation with friends or family and the topic of “I need to lose a couple lbs” comes up? One of the first thing you would likely hear is “well you just need to cut out bread and pasta”, “Carbs make us fat”, or “Carbs are the enemy”.

First of all… Carbs are not “the enemy”. Carbs are very much so the opposite. We NEED carbs. Carbohydrates are responsible for a multitude of jobs within our body. Below are just a couple:

Provide energy: one of the main and most important role of carbohydrates in our body is to supply our body with the energy it needs to function. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose in the body which can then be utilized or stored for later! Although you can use protein or fats as energy as well, our body prefers to get its energy from carbs.

Prevents muscle breakdown: As mentioned above, the glucose consumed from carbs can also be stored. It is stored in the liver, and when our body is running low on blood glucose due to either not eating, or because of strenuous exercise, it goes to the stored glucose (known as glycogen) to get the energy it needs. If our body didn’t have these glycogen stores, it would instead begin to break down muscle in order to get the energy it needs (which can still happen if we completely use up our stored glycogen).

Gut health: By consuming carbs (especially those with lots of fibre such as fruits and vegetables), it can help our gut health by encouraging healthier bowel movements. According to healthiine.com their was a study that looked at those who consumed high levels of insoluble fibre (which can be obtained from fruits and veg), those con consumed these high levels, decreased their risk for certain types of diseases.

These are just 3 of the many things that carbs are responsible for within the body. Although it is possible for the body to adapt over time to better utilize other sources such as protein and fats, our body is set to prefer carbs for energy for quick access.

So now that you know what carbs do, you’re probably asking yourself, “well how much do I need?”. Yes it is true, if you eat too many carbs, you will gain weight. Fact. This is true for any one of the three macronutrients though (Fat, Carbs, Protein). Anything can be bad if too much is taken. According to Canada living 45-65% of our daily calories should be consumed from carbs. That means if you consume a 2000 calorie diet, 900-1300 of those calories should be from carbs. If you want to lose weight however, you would lower the total calories but keep percentage of carbs the same… for more info on macromolecules and weight loss information, please contact me and we can discuss it further!

I hope this has been informative and helps you make an informed decision on your opinion on carbohydrates!

Let me know if you have any questions regarding the topic and we can go a bit more in depth!

Written by Andrew Blakey Lopez | Owner of Your Future Fitness | An at home personal training company out of Toronto, ON!

Sources for this article:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/carbohydrate-functions

https://www.canadianliving.com/health/nutrition/article/calories-protein-carbohydrates-and-fat-how-much-do-i-need