Q:

Why do you need carbohydrates in your body?

A:

The McKinley Health Center explains that carbohydrates are important to the body because they are its primary fuel source. Carbohydrates provide energy to the body that is easily and quickly burned. Certain parts of the body, such as the brain and central nervous system, depend solely on carbohydrates to function and are unable to burn other macronutrients, such as fat and protein.

WebMD clarifies that there is a difference between good carbs and bad carbs. Good carbs are complex carbohydrates that contain high amounts of fiber and that are slowly broken down and introduced into the bloodstream. These carbs are often present in whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans. Bad carbs, or simple carbohydrates, include foods such as candy and refined white bread. These types of foods contain little to no nutritional value and create spikes in blood sugar levels, which is detrimental to the body.

As McKinley Health Center notes, fiber is a form of carbohydrate that cannot be broken down in the digestive system for energy, but it is nevertheless just as important to ensuring that the body functions properly. Fiber travels through the intestinal tract and collects waste that is excreted through the bowels. Without this form of expulsion, the body becomes prone to digestive complications, such as hemorrhoids and constipation. A prolonged lack of fiber in the body drastically increases a person's risk for acquiring colon cancer.


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