Carbs. To eat or not to eat.
In my last blog, I talked about how proteins participate in three important body processes: production of energy, repair and growth, and homeostasis (balance between what’s inside and outside our cells).
How do carbohydrates play into this picture?
Are they good or bad?
Let me shed some light on the puzzle.
The digestion (breaking down) of carbohydrates begins in your mouth. Your saliva provides moisture, and your body makes a digestive enzyme called amylase which begins to break down the carbohydrates before it ever gets to your stomach. From there, carbohydrate digestion continues a little in the stomach, and a lot in the small intestine.
And what do we need carbohydrates for? ENERGY!
In fact, that is basically the only thing carbohydrates do. They make energy. They don’t repair and grow the body. They don’t create homeostasis.
They just make energy. And they are our body’s preferred source of energy. And most people don’t realize that veggies and fruit are carbs just as well as grains and seeds.
You would conclude, then, that we need carbohydrates just as much as everything else we can eat, right?
Bottom line is, things don’t go well when we don’t have energy.
Whether it is the type of energy that gets us walking in the morning, or the type that assists our liver in detoxing garbage at night.
So the answer to our question above is…it depends. Depends on our genetics, on our gut health, on the variety of foods we are eating, on our activity level, on our age, on whether we are fighting a disease, or a cold. Carbohydrates are super important for energy production in the body. They are good in that sense. But, refined carbohydrates cause our guts, immune system and lymphatic system to get mucked up, and not work well. They are bad in that sense.
So how do we determine how much of our diet should be carbohydrates?
Again, that is a moving target, depending on all the parameters above. What works for a marathon runner might not work for a ninety year old grandma. Your body is telling you what it needs. Do you know how to decode its language? I do a quarterly palpation with MY enzyme doctor to check and see what my body needs when I am not listening. Hey, it happens to all of us. Sometimes, we need each other to figure things out.