Why do we need carbohydrates?

+59 votes
asked Aug 17, 2015 in Food & Drink by LeoStirling (230 points)
So from what I have come to learn so far, carbohydrates are really important for our body. I have no idea important in what way. I grew up without knowing it, but I just know I need to have the main bulk of my meal to be carbohydrates, which are bread or grain products. So why do we need carbohydrates? Why is carbohydrate important while it sitting at the bottom of the food pyramid?

2 Answers

+25 votes
answered Aug 23, 2015 by AntoniettaBr (360 points)
We need carbohydrates because it is the biggest source of energy for our body. It provides glucose, or sugar in a more layman’s term, necessary for our body’s daily performance and needs. Carbohydrates pretty much come from food rich in starches, so roots such as potatoes, then there’s grain and flour product as well. The sugar is seen by our body as the preferred source of energy. The glucose supply tissues and organs as fuel in order to perform most body functions. The lack of glucose in our bloodstream results in low blood sugar level, which leads to mental and physical fatigue and lightheadedness, or just makes you so much less energetic.
+8 votes
answered Aug 20, 2015 by KristyA05728 (340 points)
Why do we need carbohydrates? Because these carbohydrates actually protect the proteins in our body. If there are not enough carbohydrates in the diet, the body will seek to other sources for energy, usually fats and proteins. Carbohydrates are our body more efficient source of energy. While we can use fats for energy, they are terribly less efficient, which is why having a low-carbs diet with no exercise is an extremely slow method to lose weight. Then there’re the proteins. We don’t want the proteins to be our use in our energy. The main role of proteins is to supply amino acid which leads to muscle development, which is why bodybuilders are encouraged to consume more meats that are rich in protein. If the proteins are instead redirected to replace the usual role of the glucose, they aren’t able to provide as much for the muscles and hinder the growth. It’s all about the balance, where all the nutrients support each other and having their own roles to fulfill, with carbohydrates being the main source of our energy.
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