Carbohydrates: Just a Little Food for Thought
There is an extreme amount of controversy over the subject of macronutrients. More specifically, the carbohydrate has been a hot topic since the days of the “low carb” weight loss craze. I hope to challenge your thinking about the food you eat and inspire you to dive deeper into the discussion of the food you put into your body every day. I have had a passion for food and the way it affects us ever since a young age. I started wrestling in 6th grade and have thought about the food I eat ever since. Back in the day, I would only worry about food as it related to my weight because I was trying to make my weight class every weekend to wrestle. Since then, my thought process has evolved. The macronutrient potential of foods is only one small aspect of how our bodies utilize the food we eat, but it is necessary to understand because of the large impact on the way you feel and function.
Macronutrients are classified into three categories: Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates. Each food contains some degree of macronutrient ratio and this becomes important when an individual is trying to find a diet that is suitable for their lifestyle. The goal is to find the right combination of macronutrients for you to maximize your potential.
Let’s start with the carbohydrate. A carbohydrate is a biological molecule consisting of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms, usually with a hydrogen–oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 (as in water). In other words, with the empirical formula Cm(H2O)n (where m could be different from n). (1) So what does that mean to you? The carbohydrate is in almost all foods. It is a molecule that provides energy for the muscles and brain during exercise. It also allows your muscles to spare protein for use in vigorous activities.(2) There are many differing opinions about exactly how many carbohydrates one should eat on a daily basis to optimize health. The USDA recommends 45-65 percent of your daily caloric intake to come from carbohydrates.(3) But from where did this “guideline” come? This reminds me of a picture my wife bought of a box of crayons that says “color outside the lines.”
What is normal for one may not be normal for the next. I have found through my functional medicine practice that people are individuals and should never be set into “guideline”. I have found personally with my nutrition that I don’t function best underneath a “guideline” all the time. Sometimes you have to think outside the box or color outside the lines. Many have limited their thought to mechanistic reductionist ideologies and this mold must be broken. Once we decide as a whole to express a greater and higher intelligence in ourselves then maybe our society and world will function better as a whole. The power that made the body heals the body!
In other words, you must experiment or consult a functional medicine doctor to find out the right combination of the 3 macronutrients, including carbohydrate intake for you! It will likely be different than for other people. Sure, you can drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and lose weight. But, is that what it’s all about – just losing weight? Or, do you want to feel great as your body functions at its best possible capacity? Also, is a ridiculously low carbohydrate intake a long-term solution? Can you eat like that forever?
In upcoming blogs, I will discuss the other macronutrients. Have any of you found the perfect macronutrient “cocktail?”
Dr. Andrew Kender III DC
May 11, 2016
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. Andrew Kender, and Dr. Jessica Eckman, Chiropractic Physicians