This is how our bodies use carbs: From the moment food enters the mouth, each morsel of nutrition within starts to be broken down for use by the body. So begins the process of metabolism, the series of chemical reactions that transform food into components that can be used for the body’s basic processes.
Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats have pathways that are unique to each macronutrient and produce energy for our bodies and brains.
If all three nutrients are abundant in the diet, carbohydrates and fats will be used primarily for energy while proteins provide the raw materials for making hormones, muscle, and other essential biological equipment.
The Carbohydrate: How Our Bodies Use Carbs
Carbs can only be stored in limited quantities, so our body is eager to use them for energy. However, we can only store a day or two of carbs.
The carbohydrates in food are digested into glucose that can be absorbed through the small intestine’s walls. When glucose goes to the liver, glucose enters the circulatory system, causing blood glucose levels to rise. The body’s cells are able to use glucose faster tha fats.
Once the cells have had their fill of glucose, the liver stores some of the excess for distribution between meals should blood glucose levels fall below a certain threshold.
If there is leftover glucose beyond what the liver can hold, it can be turned into fat for long-term storage so none is wasted. This is how our bodies use carbs to store energy. When carbs are scarce, the body runs mainly on fats. If energy needs exceed those provided by fats in the diet, the body must liquidate some of its fat tissue for energy
When all our glucose storage spaces in the liver and the muscles are full (glycogen is the storage form of glucose), then the liver starts processing glucose. With our sugar consumption having
|Monosaccharides||Glucose, fructose, galactose|
|Disaccharides||Sucrose, lactose, maltose|
|Polyols||Isomalt, maltitol, sorbitol, xylitol, erythritol|
|Starch polysaccharides||Amylose, amylopectin, maltodextrins|
|Cellulose, pectins, hemicelluloses, gums, inulin|
Unlike sugars and starches, dietary fibre is not broken down into glucose.
Soluble fibre is found in oats, legumes and the inner part of fruits and some vegetables. While passing through the body, it draws in water and forms a gel-like substance. This increases the bulk of your stool and softens it to help make bowel movements easier.
In a review of four controlled studies, soluble fibre was found to improve stool consistency and increase the frequency of bowel movements in those with constipation. Furthermore, it reduced straining and pain associated with bowel movements.
On the other hand, insoluble fibre helps alleviate constipation by adding bulk to your stools and making things move a little quicker through the digestive tract. This type of fibre is found in whole grains and the skins and seeds of fruits and vegetables.
Getting enough insoluble fibre may also protect against digestive tract diseases.
Carbs serve key functions in your body.
They provide you with energy for daily tasks and are the primary fuel source for your brain’s high energy demands. Which is why we advocate a low carb, and not a no carb diet. Besides this, it’s impossible not to consume carbs, but should be limited to the good stuff.
It’s the one nutrient for which humans have absolutely no essential requirement. In 1977, when we were told to eat diets extremely high in carbohydrates, human health started to fail on a global scale.