What are Macronutrients? Macronutrients are substances needed by a living organism to thrive, and are generally required in large amounts. The human body must have macronutrients to properly function every day. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are a big deal to the human body and understanding why you need them and the proper amounts needed are super important to living a healthy lifestyle! I want to make sure to cover carbohydrates, proteins and fats clearly, so I have broken them down into three parts, one for each macronutrient. This is part one and we are going to talk about carbohydrates!
Carbohydrates have a bad rep! If you are living any type of healthy lifestyle it’s almost like the word carbohydrates is Voldemort (The Dark lord in Harry Potter) and you shouldn’t speak their name. Well thankfully this is totally wrong. Carbohydrates are actually really good, like really, really good! They provide your body with energy!! Yep that’s right, you cannot function without them. Now like most things this is not an open and closed case, there is some truth to them being bad. This is because not all carbohydrates are the same; they come in simple and complex.
Simple carbs are also referred to as sugars. They are naturally found in foods like milk and fruit. However they are overflowing in things like processed food, deserts, donuts, etc. The simple carbs breaks down into the bloodstream quickly and causes your blood sugar to spike, these are the ones you really want to try and avoid. Sugar causes inflammation in the body that can lead to heart disease and cancer. So try your best to avoid the simple!
Complex carbs, they break down slower into the blood stream and do not spike the blood sugar. These are referred to as starch, fiber and glycogen. Over half of your daily calories should come from quality carbs! Yep I said it, “half of your daily calories should come from quality carbs,” I know this is scary but I promise they are good for you! These include whole grains, dairy, fruits vegetables. We cannot support our brain if we’re taking in less than 120 grams of carbs. Our brains function on glucose like air, and carbs are the glucose. You can cause irreversible damage by not giving your brain the proper amount of glucose. Depending on a person’s height, weight and age the amount is adjusted. You need carbs to do anything. In my opinion, low carbs should be translated into no simple carbs and all the good complex carbs!
So remember, everything any TV show, fad diet, etc has taught you, carbs are good! You need them to survive! Just make sure you are eating good ones not high calorie low nutrient ones!