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Macronutrients - Part 3 - Carbohydrates





Macronutrients are the nutrients that our body needs in large quantities to function well. There are three macronutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Each is necessary for cellular building, repair, and proper detoxification. It’s important to consume each of these daily, and good quality macronutrients are important because your cells are literally made up of what you eat. In part two of this series we are going to focus on the role and importance of carbohydrates in our body.


Carbohydrates are the macronutrients that we all love, and also all love to hate. Carbohydrates are the body’s most preferred source of energy. They are quick and easy energy, especially when compared to protein and fat. Carbohydrates are our source of fiber which is beneficial for your digestive health and gut microbiome.


They are important to our diet because of all of the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) they provide. Many carbohydrate rich foods are also an excellent source of antioxidants.


It is important though, to be mindful of how different sources of carbohydrates break down in your body. Carbohydrates are found in foods like grains, beans, fruit, vegetables, and sugars. Simple carbohydrates are found in sugars (honey, table sugar, maple syrup) and fruit, and are easily broken down and converted to glucose for use as energy in the body. Complex carbohydrates are vegetables, grains, and beans. They take longer to break down and convert to glucose and help to keep you full for longer. Both sources of carbohydrates are beneficial for energy usage in the body. The problem lies in the quantity that we consume this particular macronutrient.


We tend to overdo the carbohydrates, and end up getting too much glucose in our blood stream all at once. This leads to blood sugar spikes and elevated insulin levels. Any extra glucose that isn’t being used immediately or stored in our muscles for use later, is stored as extra energy (triglycerides) in our fat cells. So, in short, when we over consume carbohydrates, we end up storing excess energy in our fat cells (that’s not what we want).


It’s also important to choose carbohydrates that are found in their whole food form. For example, choosing the apple over the apple juice or honey over table sugar. When you consume carbohydrates in their whole food form, even though you will still see a blood sugar increase, you will get the benefit of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber when you eat a whole food source of carbohydrates.





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