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Should We Eat Carbohydrates and Fiber?

Importance to Our Health

Fiber, the indigestible part of plant foods (Sizer & Whitney, 2017), helps maintain bowel health by helping to add bulk to stool and absorbing water. Fiber helps decrease the chance of constipation. Carbohydrates play a significant role in energy for the body, but that is not their only function (Sizer & Whitney, 2017). Sizer and Whitney (2017) explain how carbohydrates are also used in the creation of the slippery mucus, a “watery lubricant that coats and protects the body’s internal linings and membranes.” I have been studying a bit about the body’s fascia, so I wonder if carbohydrates also play a role in the slickness of the myofascial system. I will have to do more research later. The slipperiness of our internal organs, fascia, and muscles plays a prominent role in health because when these body parts are dehydrated, it causes pain and disease in the body.

Why Avoiding Carbs May Be Ill-Advised

We learned that carbohydrates are an excellent source of energy or fuel for the body. Protein and fats are the only other nutrients that fuel our bodies (Sizer & Whitney, 2017). However, protein-rich foods can be expensive and do not provide an advantage over carbohydrates; protein also has several disadvantages (Sizer & Whitney, 2017). Furthermore, fats are not typically not used by the brain and central nervous system (Sizer & Whitney, 2017), which obviously need energy! The brain and nervous system prefer to use glucose. Therefore, avoiding carbohydrates such as glucose from whole foods that supply carbohydrates would be ill-advised.

Recommendation for Carbohydrate & Fiber Intake

According to the text Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies by Sizer and Whitney (2017), the “minimum amount of digestible carbohydrate determined by the Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) committee to adequately feed the brain and reduce ketosis has been set at 130 grams a day for an average-sized person and several times this minimum is recommended to maintain health and glycogen stores.” The World Health Organization (WHO) Healthy Diet (2020) guidelines suggest recommended DRI amounts of vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, and milk for best practice carbohydrates consumption. The WHO also suggests in the textbook that Total Carbohydrates should be 55% to 75% of total energy and Total Dietary Fiber should be ≥25 g/day from foods (Sizer & Whitney, 2017). 

Sources of carbohydrate-rich foods, as well as two sources of fiber-rich food are: Fruit, legumes, vegetables, and whole grains are great sources of both carbohydrates and fiber.

Stay MOTOvated!! Live MOTOvated!!

References

Sizer, F., & Whitney, E. (2017). Nutrition: Concepts and controversies (14th ed.) [E-book]. Cengage Learning. https://content.ashford.edu/books/Sizer.2199.17.1/

World Health Organization. (2020, April 29). Healthy diet. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet

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