There are only two other nutrients besides carbohydrates that provide energy for your body: protein and fat . Protein has so many other important functions that your body doesn’t like to waste it by using it for energy . Diets high in fat are the last thing you want . That’s why carbohydrates are the preferred fuel source to keep your body running . Your brain and nervous system depend almost exclusively on carbohydrates for energy .
The fate of carbohydrate:
Your body needs a steady stream of carbohydrate to use at all times . Say you’re sitting on the couch, eating pretzels and drinking pop . Your body will use some of this carbohydrate immediately for energy . Any that is left over gets stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver to be used later for energy . Your muscles and liver can only store a limited amount of glycogen, so if there’s still more carbohydrate leftover, your body will store it elsewhere . If you continue to eat more pretzels and pop than your body requires, the excess will be converted and stored as body fat . Unfortunately, once it’s stored as fat, your body cannot convert it back into carbohydrate
True or False: Carbohydrates are fattening .
Carbohydrates have the potential to be stored as body fat, however they are not considered to be fattening when compared with the fat you eat . Say you ate 100 more calories yesterday than your body needed for energy . Any excess calories that your body doesn’t need will get stored as body fat, whether they come from fat or carbohydrate . If the 100 excess calories were carbohydrate, your body would use about 23% of those calories to actually convert the carbohydrate into body fat . If the 100 excess calories were fat, your body would only use about 3% of those calories to convert the fat into body fat . Research indicates that the body is more efficient at storing excess fat than excess carbohydrate . Sad but true .
Carbohydrates are also a less concentrated source of calories than fat . Take for example an orange and a teaspoon of butter . They both contain about the same number of calories . But the orange consists of all carbohydrates while the butter consists of all fat . And what’s more likely to make you feel full, eating a big juicy orange or that little smear of butter? The orange will because it is bulkier . Carbohydrates fill you up more without providing a lot of calories . It’s easier to consume more calories on a high-fat diet then it is on a highcarbohydrate diet .
Where carbohydrate is found
Besides being used for fuel, and helping with weight management, there are a number of other reasons you want to have a diet rich in carbohydrates . Most carbohydrate foods provide you with vitamins, minerals and fibre, all essential for good health . Grains, fruits and vegetables also contain natural substances that can help to decrease our risk of heart disease and cance
fruits and juices
sugar, honey, jam, syrup,
rice, or other grain
legumes such as chick peas,
kidney beans, lentils