The following is an excerpt from a biology textbook written by a retired university of harvard professor:
Human Nutrition - Human Dietary Needs
The human diet must provide the following:
- calories; enough to meet our daily energy needs.
- amino acids. There are nine, or so, "essential" amino acids that we need for protein synthesis and that we cannot synthesize from other precursors.
- fatty acids. There are three "essential" fatty acids that we cannot synthesize from other precursors.
- minerals. Inorganic ions. We probably need 18 different ones: a few like calcium in relatively large amounts; most, like zinc, in "trace" amounts.
- vitamins. A dozen, or so, small organic molecules that we cannot synthesize from other precursors in our diet.
In this biology textbook, there is not one mention of carbohydrates being necessary! That's because the body will convert glucose, as needed, from other sources in the body. There is absolutely no requirement for living from carbohydrate sources. So, while carbohydrates are composed of sugar molecules, and glucose is essential to our bodies, carbohydrates are not specifically needed or required to sustain life.
Carbohydrates are an immediate source of energy for the body; so, if your body does not have an immediate use for that energy, an insulin response is triggered and the body stores any energy it does not immediately require in fat cells for later use. So, the body will not release and convert fat cells to glucose if there is already a source of blood glucose that does not require conversion. Our bodies are made for survival, and the body is very good at what it does; our bodies will primarily follow the path of least resistance, or go for the easiest option, so to speak. Couple that with the fact that our bodies are programmed to store fat away as a mode of survival, because starvation used to be a very valid concern, and the fact that we could survive for years without ever getting out of bed due to modern-day conveniences, and you begin to see why, in this time of abundance and easy living, it's incredibly easy to consume much more energy than our bodies could ever utilize. And, in a nutshell, that's why we have an epidemic of obesity and type II diabetes.
So, why do the FDA and most registered dieticians claim that calories from carbohydrates should comprise the bulk of your "healty diet"? Well, registered dieticians are regulated by the FDA, and the FDA is regulated by money, and cheap genetically modified grains are they largest profit margin of any food source, and you better believe agencies like ConAgra have lobbyists throwing kickbacks and money at government officials, and that these companies have the largest advertising budgets of all food producers. But that's for another discussion.
My next blog post will delve a bit into this carbohydrate dilemma, and we'll discuss the differences between carbohydrate sources, and learn how to manipulate carbohydrates to reap their vitamin and mineral benefits without the side effects of a bulging waistline and skyrocketing blood sugar!